Finance Ministry Current Affairs

Income Tax Department launches on-line chat service

Income Tax (IT) Department under the Union Finance Ministry has launched an on-line chat service on its national website www.incometaxindia.gov.in with a prominent icon stating ‘Live Chat Online- ask your query’.

It was announced by Minister of State (MoS) for Finance, Shiv Pratap Shukla while replying in the Lok Sabha. Since its launch in October 2017 it has altogether benefited 8,424 people.

Key Facts

The on-line chat service is aimed at facilitating the taxpayers resolve their queries by answering their basic queries and doubts relating to direct tax issues. The facility is available on all working days from Monday to Friday between 10 AM and 6 PM.

The module can also be accessed through a mobile application called ‘AayakarSetu’ on Android phone. Customer support executive having expertise in tax-related matters through this platform helps users in resolving their queries on-line.

Moreover, it has dedicated team of experts from IT department and independent tax practitioners to answer general queries of a taxpayer. This first-time initiative is aimed to enhance taxpayer services in the country.

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Shaktikanta Das appointed as India’s G 20 Sherpa

The Union Ministry of Finance has appointed Shaktikanta Das, Former Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) as India’s G 20 Sherpa till December 31, 2018 for Development Track of G20.

Sherpa is personal representative of leaders participating at G-20 summit and are responsible for thrashing out details before meeting of the leaders.

There are two tracks in G 20-Development Track and Finance Track. Finance Track is managed by Secretary (Economic Affairs) as India’s Deputy to G-20 and Development Track is coordinated by Sherpa. The DEA, Ministry of Finance provides necessary support to the Sherpa.

Background

Former NITI Aayog vice-chairman had recommended to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to appoint full-time Sherpa for G20 talks as India’s role is expanding in global arena. Panagariya was India’s Sherpa for G20 talks in September 2015. As per earlier norms, deputy chairman of erstwhile Planning Commission used to be Sherpa for G20 talks.

Sherpa

Sherpa is personal representative of leader of member country at international Summit meeting such as G8, G20 or Nuclear Security Summit. They are mostly career diplomats or senior government officials appointed by leaders of their countries. The term has been derived from Nepalese Sherpa people, who serve as guides for mountaineers in Himalayas.

The Sherpa is mainly engaged in planning, implementation and negotiation tasks through Summit. They coordinate agenda, seek consensus at highest political levels and participate in series of pre-Summit consultations to help negotiate their leaders’ positions.

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