Opposition grows against mergerof Mangaluru PCIT with Panaji

Nalin Kumar Kateel writes to Union Finance Minister opposing the move

Leaders and organisations from the coastal region have opposed the proposal of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) to merge the office of the Principal Commissioner of Income Tax (Administration), Mangaluru, with that of Panaji in Goa.

Joining other leaders, Dakshina Kannada MP and State BJP president Nalin Kumar Kateel on Saturday wrote to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to intervene in the matter and allow the continuation of the office in Mangaluru in the interest of the coastal districts in the State.

Dakshina Kannada district in-charge Minister Kota Srinivas Poojari, Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry and others have already opposed the proposal and urged the Finance Ministry to rescind the decision.

In a tweet later in the day, Mr. Kateel said that he has also spoken to Ms. Sitharaman on the issue. He said that the government would not inconvenience honest tax-payers of the region.

Mr. Kateel said that the merger has left assessees and professionals rendering service in the coastal districts in utter resentment. He said that besides speaking for citizens of his constituency, he was speaking for citizens of neighbouring Udupi and Uttara Kannada districts. He noted that Panaji, located far away from Mangaluru, would pose severe accessibility problems for tax-payers and their authorised representatives.

The MP said that institutions required to meet re-registration requirements under Section 12AA and approval under Sections 10(23C) and 80G of IT Act 1961 would need to go to Panaji for the process. The Mangaluru IT office provides easy access to assessees from rural areas, he said. The shift also presents issues in PCIT, Panaji, honouring the directions of the High Court of Karnataka.

Mr. Kateel said that being honest and tax compliant must be rewarded; but the case of coastal Karnataka looks the other way as compliant citizens were left deserted by the government. The least the government could do was to retain the PCIT office in Mangaluru which, in turn, would result in growth and development in the State.

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