Department of Revenue Current Affairs - 2020

Pending Income Tax Refunds of Rs 62,361 crore paid to a total of 20,44,597 Taxpayers from 8th April to 30th June

Not only to health and freedom of movement, but the COVID-19 pandemic has also made a much larger financial impact on the economy for individuals and business entities (including MSMEs) across the world. Between 8th April to 30th June 2020 which had a total of 56 weekdays (Monday to Friday), the Income Tax Department of India has made 76 tax refunds per minute.

In total, more than Rs 62,361 crore has been refunded to Individual Taxpayers and Business Entities during this time period.  The complete Rs 62,361 crore of refunds were directly transferred into the bank accounts of the taxpayers.

19,07,853 Individual Taxpayers were paid a refund amounting to Rs 23,453.57 crore while 1,36,744 Business Entities were refunded a total of Rs 38,908.37 crore.

Background

On 8th April 2020, the Department of Revenue (under Union Ministry of Finance) issued a press note under which for Individual Taxpayers-all pending income tax refunds of up to Rs 5 lakh were asked to be refunded,  while for business entities-GST and Customs Refunds pending were also asked to be refunded to the Income Tax Department for providing immediate financial relief.

Government implements Project ‘SPARROW-CBIC’ for online writing of APAR

Government of India has now implemented Project ‘SPARROW-CBIC’ for online writing of Annual Performance Appraisal Report (APAR) in SPARROW, for over 46,000 Group ‘B’ and Group ‘C’ Officers of Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs (CBIC) working in its various formations all across India. The term SPARROW stands for ‘Smart Performance Appraisal Report Recording Online Window’.

Key Features

  • Background: Online writing of Annual Performance Appraisal Report’s (APAR) in SPARROW for IRS (C&CE) Officers has already been implemented in year 2016-17. The Indian Revenue Service C&CE handles set of indirect taxes namely Service Tax, Central Excise, Customs etc.
  • Implemented By: The Directorate General of Human Resource Development (DGHRD), the Human resources Management (HRM) arm of Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs (CBIC) of Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance (MoF) is the implementing agency. It is being implemented in more than 400 formations of CBIC throughout India.
  • About SPARROW-CBIC: It is a project for online writing of Annual Performance Appraisal Report (APAR) for Officers of CBIC. It is one of its kind project in terms of number and scale of employees covered as far as Central Government Departments are concerned. It seeks to bring a complete change in APAR management of large number of Group ‘B’ & Group ‘C’ Officers and Staff of CBIC. This would in turn lead to better Human resources
  • Significance: Project leverages modern technology for enhancing morale and overall efficiency of everyone working in Central GST and Customs formations of CBIC. It serves as an important milestone in journey towards digitisation and paper less working.