What ails India’s Income Tax Department

Lalit Shastri

income taxThere is a general perception among the masses that the Income Tax department, has largely failed, along with other enforcement agencies, to curb the menace of black money and come down heavily against those involved in money laundering -an activity that poses a serious threat to national and international security.

Besides the general perception, what is adversely affecting the working of the Income Tax department across the country is much dithering and neglect of important matters, especially issues relating to management of junior and mid-level cadres, by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT).

The Income Tax Gazetted Officers’ Association and Employees Federation has been agitating for the immediate regularisation of the ad‐hoc promotion for the revenue year 2014‐15 and promotion for the revenue years 2015‐16 and 2016‐17 as sanctioned by the Union Finance Minister.

The Joint Council of Action representing the Income Tax gazetted officers and employees is also demanding the settlement of pay‐anomalies in various cadres, as acknowledged by the Seventh Central Pay Commision.

Another issue pending relates to the Recruitment Rules that are to be approved by the concerned authorities and notified.

There is considerable heartburn among the junior and mid-level cadres of the Income Tax Department with regard to the new format of the APAR (Performance Appraisal Report) for the Assessing Officers. They are seeking immediate withdrawal of this format by asserting that it is discriminatory and tilts heavily in favour of PrCCITs and CCITs.

Representatives of Income Tax officers and employees are meeting in the first week of June to take up all these matters. They would also discuss the issue of promotion from ITO to ACIT and also take up the issue of promotions in other cadres. They will even thrash out the issues of Annual General Transfer in the JCIT/ACIT cadres and the officers whose case has not been considered in the latest transfer orders of the CBDT for Annual General Transfer 2016 which is being described as a deviation from the existing transfer policy.

What is also bothering the Income Tax officers across regions is the anomaly in sanctioned and working strength of ACsIT/DCsIT and scrutiny of their workload.

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