BANGALORE: In a bid to bring transparency and provide better service to tax payers, the Income Tax department launched the first Aayakar Seva Kendra (ASK) in Karnataka. The ASK centre, inaugurated at the IT office in Unity Building Annexe on Mission Road is the first in Bangalore, while the department plans to set up three other centres across the state.
Presently, there are 15 ASK centres across India and the department aims to set up 60 such centres across the country this year. “We will start 3 other centres at Mangalore, Panaji and Hubli in Karnataka.”
The Finance Minister had specified that 60 new ASK centres would come up. This is initiative is convenient for tax payers as it works one window solution to all file returns and address public grievances,” said K Satyanarayana, CCIT, Bangalore 3. Stressing the need to bring about transparency, M L Agrawall, IRS, chief commissioner of Income Tax, Bangalore, stated that the centre would bring about a new change in the tax paying process. “The department was initially dreaded. It was aimed at collecting revenue by enforcing law. Now, we are looking at service oriented process. There is a need for transparency, and this centre will help us reduce the interphase between department officials and tax payers. Many tax payers are now looking into e-filing of returns. That not only helps reduce corruption but also helps eliminate the trend of middlemen,” he said.
He added that e-filing of returns went up by 100 per cent this year and the department expects 2 crore returns to be filed online this year.
Defining this new step towards launching the ASK centre, Rani Singh Nayar, DG, IT, said, “The IT department completed 150 years last year and the launch of ASK centre shows that the department has come off age. The IT department is a professional corporate trying to retain its clients. This is a step towards encouraging tax payers to perform their duties. They are assured that their tax money is going for the development of nation.”