|Some of the demands of IRS officers|
THERE has been an uneasy calm between the revenue department headed by an IAS officer and officers belonging to Indian Revenue Service-Income Tax (IRS-IT) after a delegation of IRS officers met finance minister Arun Jaitley last Saturday and resolved some of the issues including an agreement to direct its Mumbai-based colleagues to suspend a proposed strike. The recent problem began when a section of Income-Tax officers located in Mumbai adopted a resolution on July 22, 2016, questioning the interferences of the revenue department headed by IAS officer Hasmukh Adhia and even demanded abolition of the post of revenue secretary itself. Here are the 10 developments in the last two weeks:
1. Mumbai chapter of the IRS Association on July 22, 2016 adopted a written resolution against the department of revenue.
2. The finance ministry under which the department of revenue functions took serious objections to the development and issued an official statement on July 28, calling the resolution as “act of insubordination”, further warning that the officers indulging in acts of indiscipline would be “subject to conduct rules”.
3. On July 30, 2016, a delegation of IRS Association met the finance minister and apprised him of the issues concerning IRS, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and operational aspect of the Income-Tax department.
4. According to the Association’s statement, the delegation of the IRS officers “conveyed deep sense of deprivation and injustice among IRS officers leading to severe discontent and demoralization".
The delegation highlighted the “operational difficulties of IRS officers including role and authority of CBDT”.
5. Disparity in empanelment and pay with IAS was also brought to the notice of the FM. “Empanelment of joint secretary and above should be expedited and there should be a pay parity with IAS”.
6. Demands included parity of pay and also two additional increments for IRS on promotion of STS, JAG and selection grade.
7. It was also demanded that the CBDT whose powers and functions emanate from Central Board of Revenue Board 1963 and Income Tax Act 1961, be allowed to administer the direct tax policies of the government, strictly as per the said acts.
8. The Association members also appealed the FM that punitive transfers and disciplinary actions taken against IRS officers in Mumbai should be reversed.
9. After IRS Associations asked its Mumbai chapter to call off the strike, it “put the protest in abeyance and suspected forthwith”.
10. Meanwhile, a new CBDT chairperson - Ms Rani Singh Nair took over and the IRS Association in a new release says, it hopes there will be “a dawn of a new era of positivity and co-operation which will result in justice and motivation of IRS officers resulting in achievements of all goals of the government and best services to the citizens”.