Adequate staff for processing and refund of taxes: IT Deptt

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New Delhi, Jul 14 (UNI) The Finance Ministry today described as ''misleading'' reports that the Income Tax Department was facing a staff crunch, saying there was adequate deployment of personnel for processing and refunds.

''Certain sections of the media have reported that due to shortage of manpower, processing of tax returns and issuance of refunds are going to be further delayed. It is clarified that such reports are not based on proper appreciation of full facts and are, therefore, incorrect and misleading,'' an official statement said.

The IT department had deployed 7,051 additional manpower in November 2006. ''Recruitment of the additional manpower has already commenced and will be completed by the year 2010.'' it said.

During FY08, over 48.5 lakh refunds were issued involving an amount of about Rs 41,100 crore, as against 32.5 lakh refunds involving an amount of about Rs 28,500 crore issued three years earlier (FY05).

''Thus, there is no decrease or slackness, whatsoever, in the number and the amount of refunds issued in the last three years, which have increased at an average annual growth rate of 16.4 per cent and 14.7 per cent, respectively,'' it said.

With the process of comprehensive computerisation nearing its completion and with a policy of outsourcing non-core functions under implementation, the Department envisages no difficulty in dealing with increasing volume of work relating to processing and scrutiny of tax returns.

To expedite processing and scrutiny of tax returns, the IT Department has made the return forms annexureless and launched the Refund Banker Scheme in six regions of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Patna.

It also plans to set up Central Processing Centres to enable mass processing of tax returns, thus further cutting down time taken in processing returns.

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