Kashmir Pays Rs825 Cr Income Tax, Jammu Rs232 Cr

27 June 2014
Greater Kashmir
Ishfaq Naseem

Srinagar: If you were impressed by the figures dished out by Income Tax department showing that it has yielded Rs 778.31 crore gross tax from range-1 Jammu in 2013-14, read on. The figure of Rs 778.31 crore includes Rs 650.65 crore tax deposited by J&K Bank which is headquartered at Srinagar. Surprisingly the tax deposited by J&K Bank, which has its corporate office in Srinagar, has been merged with the tax yielded from range-1 Jammu. Deduct this amount and there remains only Rs 127.66 crore which has been received in range-1 Jammu. Further, come to range-2 Jammu: The total tax collection shown by IT department for 2013-14 has been Rs 104.37 crore. So, for two ranges in Jammu, the department has actually got a gross tax of Rs. 232.03 crore. For the information of readers Jammu has two ranges. Come to range-3 which is Srinagar. From this single range the department has got Rs 174.52 crore excluding the tax paid by J&K Bank. Add to it the tax received from J&K Bank which has been unreasonably shown in range-1 Jammu, the gross total tax received by the department in Kashmir comes to Rs 825.17 crore. As per official figures, the target achievement in Srinagar range is much higher than two ranges of Jammu. 'Range-3 Srinagar has witnessed increase of 35.07 per cent in tax collection. While range-1 and 2 have increased their achievements by only 19.62 per cent and 3.62 per cent respectively,' the official figures show. Sources said: 'The tax collected from JK Bank is shown to have been collected from range-1 Jammu which is unjustified.' Experts suggested that the practice of merging the tax collected from an institution based in Kashmir, with that collected in range-1 Jammu is affecting the 'fiscal scenario' besides 'painting a wrong picture of Kashmir.' As per the sources the tax collection in Kashmir is very high as compared to other regions of the country. 'Yet the department is doing window-dressing to improve Jammu's performance,' they said. Now come to the facilities: As per the sources the department is 'punishing' the assessees from Kashmir by forcing them to visit Jammu for appeals or even for petty matters. 'The Income Tax office in Srinagar is almost defunct. No high ranking officer including Commissioner Appeals sits in Kashmir. With the result whenever an assessee from Kashmir has any issue he has to go all the way from Srinagar to Jammu to get redress.'