A "concerned" Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has asked the Income Tax (IT) department to take prompt steps and address the taxpayers' grievances, especially those related to refunds and PAN, within 30 days of their receipt.
CBDT Chairman Sushil Chandra has written a letter to all the principal chief commissioners of the department in the country, underlining that the high pendency of such complaints "reflects poorly on the efforts made by the field officers".
The CBDT is the policy-making body of the IT department.
The letter states that as many as 1,492 grievances of taxpayers are pending and most of those pertain to issuance of refunds, followed by cases of rectification and PAN (Permanent Account Number) and TAN (Tax Deduction Account Number) issues.
The CBDT boss asked the top command of the department to strengthen the functioning of the Aaykar Sampark Kendras (ASKs -- single-window IT offices for grievances), so that the grievances could be resolved using the e-nivaran or electronic mode of grievance redress mechanism, which was launched by the department sometime back.
"Therefore, I would like you to ensure that all the officers and agencies under your jurisdiction are properly briefed so as to reduce the avenues of grievances," Chandra wrote in the letter.
He added that directions had already been issued by his office to ensure that the grievances were resolved within 30 days of their receipt and that the officers deputed to perform these tasks attended to these cases on priority.
"Redressing public grievances is one of the primary focus areas of the government and it is being monitored at the highest level," Chandra said.
The letter also mentioned that over 20,000 grievances of the taxpayers were disposed of since the beginning of this year till November 13.