Tax officials overloaded with work as govt wants to make Vivad Se Vishwas a success

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on March 05, 2020 Published on March 05, 2020

Tax officials have threatened the Centre that they will cut their workloads in protest over deplorable working conditions. This comes at a time when government fills its treasure by collecting tax before the end of the current fiscal year on March 31, Reuters reported.

As per the report, Centre is pushing tax authorities to shore up revenue as the economy tumbles down to 11 year low.

According to tax officials cited in the Reuters’ report, corporate and income tax collection for the current year is likely to plunge for the first time in at least two decades.

Two unions which represent 97 per cent of tax officials stressed on improving the working conditions, including resolution of "pay anomalies." They also demanded that the government set contracts for casual workers.

The unions have threatened that if demands are not met, they are planning to stop submitting certain reports and stall search and seizure operations on March 12, before putting an end to overtime work on March 15.

According to Dipak Gupta, general secretary at the Income Tax Gazetted Officers' Association's Mumbai unit, the tax officials go beyond their capacities to deliver their work on time. He asked for the recognition of such tiring work.

The unions also wrote a letter to the Central Board of Direct Taxes(CBDT) on February 26, stating that there was “undue pressure” on officials to collect taxes. It also stated that with no clear “promotion rules” aggravating fear of career stagnation among employees.

The unions, in the letter, said they are hopeful that the government would intervene and address their issues by Tuesday next, and in that case, they would call off the planned protests.

CBDT replied to officials on March 4, saying that it is imperative for officials to make a new amnesty scheme called Vivad se Vishwas, a success. And, the efficiency and effectiveness of employees in handling the new scheme will determine their future promotions and postings.

Ravi Shankar, the secretary-general of the Income Tax Gazetted Officers' Association, told Reuters that tax officials had given their best to the government leaving "no stone unturned" to make the scheme work. Hence, they expect that the government should also redress their long-pending demands.

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Published on March 05, 2020
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