CIC urges I-T dept to improve its refund disbursal function
October, 25th 2007
The Central Information Commission (CIC) has asked income tax authorities to usher in quick improvements in its refund disbursal system.
"The Commission would strongly urge the I-T department to rapidly effect improvement in its refund disbursal function... They will have vast amount of efficiency gains by ushering in transparency in such functions," Information Commissioner A N Tiwari said in a judgment.
The observation came on a Right to Information (RTI) application of Mumbai-resident J J Nerurkar, who had sought from the office of I-T (Exemptions) information on names of erring officials who delayed his tax refunds for two years.
While the Commission concurred with the department in denying disclosure of names of individual officers involved in the decision making process, it noted that such frequent delays on a large scale would inevitably cast doubt on the entire department as well as its officers.
Calling for "systemic improvements" in regard to the delays, Tiwari suggested the department could examine as to if they should come out with a periodical statement on the refund claims that had been approved, effected or were pending.
It noted that in case the department was unable to effectively handle the volume of work pertaining to disposing of refund claims, it should "seriously" think of alternative systems.