Unions call for filling up vacant posts

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The numbers

According to

Association members, at Mumbai I-T Department, which accounts for nearly 40 per cent of the total revenue collected, 76 positions are lying vacant out of 249 positions.

Immediate need

for more than 9,000 ministerial staff and lower level employees (in I-T offices all over the country).

Mumbai, July 20

Around 45,000 employees of the Income Tax Department all over the country will stage a walk-out from their offices on July 31, the last day for filing Income-Tax returns, in protest against the delay in acceding to their demands, by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT).

Employees owing allegiance to the Income-Tax Gazetted Officers' Association (ITGOA) and Income-Tax Employees' Federation (ITEF) are expected to participate in the protest.

A dharna will be organised in front of the Income-Tax office in Mumbai on July 25.

"We are not striking work to trouble people. This is a call to awaken the Board and act on the 22-point charter of demands we have submitted," said Mr Rajesh Menon, Secretary General, ITGOA.

`inadequate manpower'

The IT department is facing acute shortage of manpower and adequate infrastructure facilities. The department is given a mammoth target of Rs 2.10 lakh crore, to be collected this fiscal.

In the last fiscal, the department could collect only Rs 1.64 lakh crore when its revised target was fixed at Rs 1.70 lakh crore (the target was lowered to Rs 1.70 lakh crore from Rs 1.77 lakh crore after the Board expressed its inability to achieve the target).

"Inadequate manpower has been plaguing the department for quite some time now. Even at the ACIT-DCIT level (Assistant Commissioner/Deputy Commissioner - Income-Tax), where major assessees (big-sized companies, organisations, etc) are attended, there is acute shortage of workforce. Here, out of a sanctioned strength of 1,974 commissioners, 816 posts are lying vacant. This shortage will impede the tax collection process," said Mr Menon.

According to Association members, at Mumbai I-T Department, which accounts for nearly 40 per cent of the total revenue collected, 76 positions (ACIT/DCIT) are lying vacant out of the sanctioned 249 positions.

"There is an immediate need for more than 9,000 ministerial staff and lower level employees (in I-T offices all over the country). And to top it all, the Government is trying to push its new recruitment policy whereby a section of the staff will not get promotions beyond the post of a stenographer. We will strongly oppose this move," said Mr Ashok B. Salunkhe, General Secretary, ITEF-Mumbai.

Opposition to moves

Among several others, the union members are also opposing the Government's move to bring down the promotion quota to 40 per cent, proposal for setting up Large Taxpayers' Units (LTUs), inequitable distribution of workload and the suspension of its members in Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Jammu & Kashmir.

The Association and Federation office-bearers have asked taxpayers to file their return well in advance as there will be total stoppage of work on July 31.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated July 21, 2006)
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