KATHUA, Apr 26: Minister for Education, Finance and Labour & Employment Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari today paid maiden visit to Lakhanpur Toll Post after assuming the charge of Finance Department.
During his visit, the Minister took stock of working of Excise Department at the Toll Post and exhorted upon the officials to work in tandem for realizing the revenue targets, creating conducive environment for the business fraternity and hassle-free movement of traffic to facilitate smooth collection of tax.
The Minister also inspected the yards of the department and inquired about the impact of GST and e-way billing.
The issues of under billing, ambiguity in negative list, exemption to certain items and rationalization of toll were thoroughly discussed.
Reviewing the working of the toll post, the Minister asked Excise and Commercial Taxes Department to facilitate smooth flow of traffic from Lakhanpur as major supply of goods and items enter into the State through this route. He asked the authorities to provide better facilities to encourage the traders to disclose the essential information.
“In today`s world the trading platform is open and transparent. One can`t hide things. So, encourage the traders to disclose the essential information and receive better facilities,” Bukhari asked Excise and Taxation officials.
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He also expressed concern over illegal mining and cement smuggling from Lakhanpur and other routes and asked the authorities to take steps to curb this menace. He directed the concerned officers to submit a report to his office suggesting the interventions to be introduced to eradicate the illegal trade, even as asking them to man each and every route. “The unfair trade practices must be checked to benefit the consumers at large”, he said, adding that people’s interest is paramount for the Government.
Meanwhile, the Minister accorded permission to establish Common room, Gymnasium and a Library at the Excise Office Complex at Lakhanpur.
Earlier, Principal Secretary Finance, Naveen K Choudhary stressed on maintaining close coordination among different wings of the Finance Department for smooth functioning at Lakhanpur. He asked for optimum utilization of buildings and other assets available at the site.
Later, the Minister also inspected the building of Recreation Hall which is lying vacant for some time and directed DC Excise to submit a proposal within 30 days suggesting better utilization of the complex.
The Minister also inspected Toll Post Nagri and asked the officials for better utilization of the assets available there.
The officials present on the occasion were Excise Commissioner, Anu Malhotra, Additional Commissioner Commercial Taxes, P K Bhat, DC Kathua, Rohit Khajuria, SSP Kathua, Shridhar Patil, DC Excise, Vishesh Mahajan, DC Commercial Tax, Puneet Sharma, CEO Kathua, ETOs and others.