CENTRE has begun to take strict action against “defaulting and non-performing revenue officials”. After the news broke about premature retirement of as many as 33 revenue officers including seven from the coveted Indian Revenue Service and also dismissal of 72 others including six from Group A service, minister of state for finance Jayant Sinha posted the following message in Twitter, claiming that it’s for the first time such a strict action was taken. He said:“For the first time, strict action taken against defaulting and nonperforming Revenue officials. 72 dismissed, 33 retired prematurely!” Though there were instances of sacking non-performing officers earlier too, it’s possibly for the first time that marching orders were given to such a large number of revenue officers, that too in one go.
According to news reports, this move of dismissing and premature retirement came after the Prime Minister’s advisory to the secretaries two months ago to crack the whip against non-performing officers. What’s quite significant is that commissioner-ranked Income Tax officers also figured in the list of 33 who are “retired prematurely”.
And those figured in the separate list of 72 “dismissed” officers as issued by the ministry of finance, are mainly the ones against whom departmental or disciplinary actions were pending for over two years.
Earlier in January this year, 11 Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Excise) officers were sent packing, as they were absent from office without authorisation for more than five years. That sacking order was issued by Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), dated January 4, 2016. Once an officer is sacked or deemed to have resigned, he or she loses all retirement benefits. Those 11 officers included two joint commissioners, five deputy commissioners, three assistant commissioners and one additional commissioner.