Income Tax Dept Employees Announce Strike – “While the government has given a target to us to bring 10 million assessees into the tax net this fiscal, there are no infrastructure facilities such as computers etc. In fact, we are facing severe staff crunch. The target cannot be met in the current scenario,” said Kanojia.
Two major associations of Income Tax department employees on Wednesday declared they have slowed down the work of revenue collection and threatened to stop all work on this front if their service-related demands are not met by early next month. The officials claimed their agitation would make the government fail to meet income-tax targets for the current financial year.
The two prominent groups– Income Tax Employees Federation (ITEF) and Income Tax Gazetted Officers’ Association (ITGOA)– claim to represent about 97% of the department’s workforce and have informed the apex-policy making body of the I-T, the CBDT. They have threatened to go on a half-day strike on October 1 and then on a full-day strike on October 8. Thereafter, they plan to stop searches and surveys if their demands are not met.
“We have stopped reporting to our seniors beginning today and we have also informed the CBDT that we are not going to be a part of government’s latest initiative of widening the tax based which aims to include about 25 lakh new assessees every month,” ITGOA President Ajay Goyal said during a press conference here..
ITEF President Ashok K Kanojia said their major demands of not getting due promotions in the ranks of Income Tax Officer (ITO) and Assistant and Deputy Commissioner of I-T, lack of work space and infrastructure are some of the major demands which are not being met by the CBDT and the government over the last two years and hence they have resorted to this boycott.
“On one hand the CBDT has promised to the government that the department will add about 1 crore new assessees this fiscal but at the same time there are huge number of vacancies in the cutting-edge and ground-level workforce of the tax department. We feel that as the revenue collection target was missed last year, it will be missed this time too,” Kanojia said.
The government is targeting a direct tax collection, which includes income tax and corporate tax, of approximately Rs 8 lakh crore in 2015-16, a growth of 13.24 per cent over that of the revised estimates of the previous financial year. It has collected 34.2 per cent of the Budget target till July.
“While the government has given a target to us to bring 10 million assessees into the tax net this fiscal, there are no infrastructure facilities such as computers etc. In fact, we are facing severe staff crunch. The target cannot be met in the current scenario,” said Kanojia. In 2013, the Cabinet had cleared a proposal to create 20,750 additional posts in the I-T department , including revenue service officers, he said.
“But the government has failed miserably to fulfil its promise and to provide necessary infrastructure to its workforce in the past two financial years since 2013, owing to delay in implementation of the cadre restructuring proposal,” he added.
The associations, in their memorandum to the CBDT, said they have stopped work related to cases of “verification and scrutiny assessments” and that related to widening of tax base from September 9 itself.
Source: Business Standard