Archive for January 23rd, 2004

Income Tax Department sets up the Tax Network

January 23, 2004

The Finance Minister formally inaugurated the country-wide Tax network.
Hopefully, this would help the department in collecting more tax more
efficiently, reducing the cost of collection per unit of tax mop up. While
such an efficiency approach is good, the department should also focus on
effectiveness – the ease of interaction between honest tax player and the tax
department. It is not electronic filing alone that everyone wants – it is just
a “feel good” factor when dealing with Income Tax department – you will get
fast answers from a courteous voice, there is no fear of harassment for honest
people and you get 24X7 service. That would be the acid test for
effectiveness. The author had the personal experience of waiting for 2 years
to get PAN number; another Government department issued Voter Identity card so
effortlessly – one week advance notice, specific appointment, 2-hour service
time and one returns with a correct VIN (Voter Identity Number). Why should
PAN be a century-long process (I waited from 1999 to 2001)! Is it a permanent
account for a vendor?