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Friday, September 3, 2010

FM asks CBDT, CBEC to wrap up AGTs by April

FM asks CBDT, CBEC to wrap up AGTs by April; set up panel for litigation management and common risk management institution

By TIOL News Service

MUMBAI, SEPT 02, 2010: WHILE addressing the large gathering of revenue officials at a revenue review meeting here yesterday, the Union Finance Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, once again hammered home the point to both the Revenue Boards to improve the human resource management to meet the rising expectations of the officers and the staff. He said that though there has been some improvement pertaining to Departmental Promotion Committee (DPCs) for the staff and officers, but still it is not satisfactory. It should be ensured that DPCs are held well in advance to keep the employees motivated and eager to perform their responsibility in the service of the Nation.

''I would like to see that a model time frame for conducting the DPC is developed and followed strictly. Both the Departments should aim to become a model employer, which provides equal opportunities and equity in true sense. I have noticed that transfer orders of the officers are issued in mid of the year, which affects not only the officer, but also the Department. The officer has to shift his family and children in the mid of the academic session, which causes avoidable mental stress. Similarly, by shifting of the officers in the mid of the year from one charge to the other charge, the continuity and time available is reduced considerably. This adversely affects achieving the targeted revenue. This can be avoided by ensuring that all the annual general transfers are carried out by both the Boards by the 2nd week of April. The regional orders by the respective Chief Commissioners should be completed by the end of April of every financial year. This will reinforce the confidence of the employees in our system and we can demonstrate by action that we actually care for our employees. I am confident that both the Board can calibrate their long term human resource policies to achieve the above objectives,'' he emphasised.

The FM also said that the Cadre Restructuring for CBDT was done in the year 2001 and for the CBEC in the year 2002, which is to be reviewed after every five years and is overdue. He emphasised that this needs to be expedited and completed in a time bound manner. There is also a need to develop a system to make it as a continuous process and not as an event to meet the legitimate expectations of the Officers and staff.

For litigation management the FM asked both the Revenue Boards to constitute Standing Committee at the level of Chief Commissioners to have a systematic bottom to top approach. Expressing concern over Central Excise and Customs duty arrears in the zone, Mr Mukherjee asked the officers to give special emphasis in taking some serious steps for collection of arrears of revenue. The Finance Minister urged the revenue department to create a formal Risk Management institution to improve the voluntary tax compliance in India. There is a need to create a formal Risk Management institution to handle the critical component of tax governance on a real-time basis. Both the departments can collaborate on the issue of risk management to further improve the voluntary tax compliance in India.

The FM said that litigation management is an area of concern which both Departments need to look into to create an atmosphere of trust and mutually beneficial relationship with tax payers as well as revenue officials. Departments are filing appeals in a routine manner without careful thought and examination. ''I have noticed that some of the appeals filed have been dismissed by the courts on account of gross delays. For this I have constituted a Standing Committee in both the Boards. This Committee will identify systematic causes for service litigation and litigation with tax payers and will prepare a road map for reducing the existing litigation and to avoid litigation in future. This Committee has been constituted at the Board level. I will encourage both the Boards to constitute a similar Standing Committee at the level of Chief Commissioners to have a systematic bottom to top approach for litigation management. This would lead to manageable number of cases before the Courts, which can be defended efficiently and will enhance the success rate in litigation,'' he stressed.

Mr Mukherjee asked the officers to give equal importance in collection of arrears of revenue. ''I find that in this Zone an amount of around 3,088 crores is locked up in respect of Central Excise arrears, and an amount of around 1,740 crores in respect of Customs duty arrears. We are now in the beginning of 6th month of the Financial Year. It is high time that we give special emphasis in taking some serious steps for collection of arrears of revenue,'' he added.

Another area where the situation is rather alarming is pendency of adjudication. The FM said that the delay in adjudication ultimately results in delay in collection of revenue due to the Government. In Mumbai Zone alone, an amount of around Rs 2,192 crores of Central Excise duty, an amount of around Rs 1,931 crores of Customs duty, and an amount around Rs 3,800 crores of Service Tax are locked up in the pending adjudication cases.

While reviewing the revenue collections trend, the FM expressed his happiness with the trend. He said that ''I find that for the period of four months i.e. from April to July in this financial year, the Customs revenue collection in three Mumbai Zones has registered an average growth of 79.5 percent compared to the collection during the corresponding period of last financial year. In Central Excise also there has been buoyancy, though the growth has been slightly less as compared to Customs. I find that the two Central Excise Zones in Mumbai have an average growth of 55.65 percent compared to the collections during the corresponding period of last financial year. This trend of revenue realization would not only need to be maintained but also to be improved during the coming months so that if there is any shortfall in other area, collections from this Zone can help us in filling the gap.''

The manufacturing sector in the country is looking up and this has contributed in not only increased Central Excise duty but also increase in the imports of capital goods, machinery and other raw-materials which has in turn resulted in increase in Customs revenue collection. In Service Tax, however, Mr Mukherjee said that the growth is much less. It is only about 8 percent. This defies logic as to why the growth of Service Tax should be so small. It is an acknowledged fact that the service sector in the country is also growing substantially. He asked the officers concerned with the Service Tax collection to ponder over this, and find ways and means to increase the Service Tax collections.

On the direct tax side, the net corporate tax has shown a growth 20.9% and personal income tax a growth 8.51% with overall growth for direct taxes at 15.75% as on 31st July 2010. The overall direct taxes growth is satisfactory. But the collection of direct taxes from Mumbai is below the national average, Mr Mukherjede said, adding that the achievement of direct tax collection largely depends upon collection from Mumbai. Therefore, revenue collection should be monitored effectively and special efforts should be made to achieve not only the budgeted target but also to exceed it.

The major area of concern on the direct tax side is the revenue locked up in appeal. Rs 28,046 crores is blocked in appeal before CIT (Appeal) and Rs 10,010 crores before ITAT.

The FM observed that for Mumbai, there has been an increase in advance tax, for the financial year 2010-11 by 22% in comparison to the same period of the previous year. The tax deducted at source for the current financial year has shown a decline by almost 2% in comparison to the corresponding period of the previous year. The trend in TDS collection, which is a major source of revenue to the government exchequer should be analysed to ensure that taxes due from TDS are collected, he added.

Source: Taxindiaonline.com

11 comments:

surya said...

DEAR OFFICE BEARERSS
THE SPEECH OF THE FM IS INSPIRING AND HIGHLY PROMISING. IT SEEMS THAT THE FM HAS NOT BEEN APPRAISED OF THE STALE MATE IN THE PROMOTIONS OF THE INSPECTORS ALL OVER THE COUNTRY IN THE NAME OF A LOCAL COURT ORDER. EVEN THOUGH THE OFFICERS HAVE PUT IN MORE THAN 17 TO 18 YEARS AND IN SOME ZONES EVEN MORE THAN 22 YEARS, THE FIRST PROMOTION IN THEIR CAREER HAS NOT BEEN GRANTED IN SPITE OF THOUSANDS OF VACANCIES. NO SANE PERSON CAN DIGEST SUCH A IMBROGLIO. I AM SURE THE FM WILL TAKE TO TASK THE FELLOWS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE PRESENT STALEMATE WHICH CANNOT BE JUSTIFIED ON ANY ACCOUNT. EVERY BODY KNOWS HOW MUCH TIME IT WILL TAKE IN THE PRESENT JUDICIAL SYSTEM TO GET JUSTICE. INSPITE OF THAT THE ASSOCIATION WAS INACTIVE FOR MONTHS. AT LEAST NOW, PLEASE TAKE UP THE MATTER WITH THE FM SO THAT THE FAITH IN THE ASSOCIATION SHOWN BY THE MEMBERS IS JUSTIFIED. THERE IS NO HOPE OF GETTING JUSTICE FROM KOLKATTA AS WAS PROVEN IN THE WEEK AFTER WEEK POSTPONEMENTS DURING THE MONTHS OF JULY AND AUGUST. EVEN IN THE INTITAL INTERIM JUDGEMENT IT WAS CRYSTAL CLEAR THAT THE STAY IS PERTAINING ONLY TO KOLKOTTA. EVEN THEN THE ASSOCIATION DID NOT PROTEST AGAINST THE ALL INDIA STAY IMPOSED BY CBEC IN THE NAME OF KOKOTTA HIGH COURT ORDER. EVEN NOW AFTER THE PRONOUNCEMENT OF THE JUDGEMENT ON THE 27 TH OF AUGUST WE ARE STILL WAITING FOR WRITTEN COPY OF THE JUDGEMENT WHICH HAS ABSOLUTELY NO RELEVANCE TO REST OF THE COUNTRY. ONCE AGAIN IT IS REQUESTED THAT THE HON'BLE FM MAY BE APPRAISED OF THE WHOLE SITUATION. THIS BLOG IS ALSO INTENDED TO REACH ANY PERSON WHO HAVE ACCESS TO FM / PM's OFFICE SO THAT THEY CAN APPRISE THE FM/PM, OF THE INJUSTICE BEING METED OUT TO THE HAPLESS CADRE

rajaguru said...

Please state categorically-

Whether reservation policy is applicable for the upgradations effected in 1997 from the grade of Inspector to Supdt. There is a version that reservation is applicable only for promotions and not for upgradations.

Whether the SC/ST officers elevated to the grade of superintendent have found place in the list of selection had reached the level based on merits or whether there was any relaxation such as grace marks, reduction in the standards etc. Somebody should find out from Staff Selection Commission through RTI whether there was any relaxation in standards relating to cut off marks etc. (The general category should not, however, attempt to argue that Fee waiver is a relaxation for this purpose as has been argued by Shri. Kumaraguru. That will be a narrow minded argument).

surya said...

Dear Rajaguru
The Hon'ble Apex court judgement in the case of V.K.SAROTIA (2001) refers. In Central Excise chandigarh zone, based on this decision as well as similar judgement of the Punjab & Chandigarh High Court, reservation has been disallowed for upgradation posts and seniority refixed by conducting review DPC.

rajaguru said...

Dear Surya,
Thanks. The fundamental questions are as follows:

(1).If the elevations effected in 1997 are upgradations, how reservation can be claimed, that too over and above the existing 22.5% on the grounds that those elevations are based on the merit?

(2).If the selection of reserved candidates are based on the relaxed physical standards, grant of grace marks etc (if any), how it can be argued that they entered into the selection list based on the merit?

(3). Let us assume that there is a selection for 200 posts and the cut off mark is 50. General candidates who secured more than 50 are selected for the posts but the selection in the general category is limited to 155 as the law provides for reservation of 45 posts for the reserved candidates. Over and above 155, the general category candidates cannot enter the stream, even if they secure more than the cut off marks. It could be possible that the general category officer who was at the 156th position and denied the selection would have got higher marks than the first of 45 persons selected under the reserved category. In that case, the question is whether that person can be considered as meritorious and qualify for the merit elimination?

(4). The Apex court's decision in the case of R.K.Sabarwal stipulates that meritorious SC/ST candidates cannot be counted under the quota for reservation. Will the reserved category officers got selected as per the relaxed standards be considered as meritorious officers?

I request S/Shri. Ram and Rajesh to enlighten on the above points with arguments in a healthy manner.

rajaguru said...

(1). Reserved candidates are entitled to the benefits, WHATEVER, provided for in the constitution and none in India can question that. If anybody questions the right provided under the Constitution of India, it will be an illegal act.

(2). The right interpretation of the above constitutional right is pronounced by the Apex court in the case of R.K.Sabarwal case and therefore, the spirit of the judgement is the law of the land.

(3). I know a person belonging to SC community, who went on VRS from the Department as Supdt in pursuit of his spiritual mission. His calibre is immeasurable and we can say that he can be ranked as Number one in the selection list of 200 persons. Now, he is regarded as GURUJI, even by the higher level officers in the Department. Tamil Saint-cum poet Thiruvalluvar says that all are equal by birth and that the greatness is attained only by their deeds. Guruji, though by birth a SC person, reached a higher level to be respected by the so called higher caste persons. Valmiki's greatness also illustrates this concept. In view of this fact, please stop the argument that SC officers are downgraded.

(4). coming back to the subject and going by the example of Guruji, let us assume that Guruji got the first rank in the list of top 155 meritorious persons of the selection of 200 persons. Though he is entitled to the benefit of reservation for promotion, he gets elevation on his own on merits without enjoying the SPECIAL PRIVILEGE , since he was No.1 in the list. While counting the number of beneficiaries under the reserved quota, Guruji should not be counted since he reached the top level in the rank list and consequential promotion on his own calibre.

(5).Please tell me whether such a yardstick can be applied to a person who entered the selection list at the bottom based on relaxed physical standards, reduced marks etc? whether these people can be considered as meritorious general candidates?

(6).Whether reservation policy is applicable for upgradations effected in 1997 in the light of the judgement of the Hon'ble Apex court in the case of V.K.SAROTIA (2001)? Please note that reservation has been disallowed for upgradation posts and seniority re-fixed by conducting review DPC in Chandigarh zone, based on the above decision as well as similar judgements of the Punjab & Chandigarh High Court.

(7). The judgement of the Apex Court in the case of R.K.Sabarwal was pronounced in 1995, whereas the rectification process was ordered by the Department with effect from 1997. What is the reason for this change? Has the DOPT consulted the Commission for SC/ST in connection with this decision?
I request for the view points from neutral persons and also from the persons belonging to this side and that side.

madhu said...

Dear Kaushikbhai and Arunbhai now please dont waste time and wake up immediately to this burning issue and meet the chairman to instruct the CCAs to release promotion orders of inspectors to Supdts. As you know, it is almost two weeks since the so called judgement is out, but has not been able to get a copy of the judtement; what a pathetic condition; as of late we are slowly losing hopes in the judiciary, board now v can depend only on the association leaders; so please dont keep mum at this juncture; pl act fast and see that the orders are out by next week atleast.

RAJAN said...

Thank you Mr. Rajaguru.
You have raised most pertinent points which is even overlooked by the Madras High Court and now the same is going to happen in the case in Kolkata High Court.
The Apex court verdict of R.K. Sabarwal case is not being taken in it's actual and true manner. It is being deliberately twisted and distorted by lower courts.
Please implement the Apex court judgement of R.K. Sabarwal in its true spirit & letter and make it applicable to all Govt. Departments, not just ours.

rajaguru said...

Dear Shri. Rajan,
Thanks. Please come forward with more details and arguments so that the message will be clear and louder.Now, it is the duty of everyone to fight for justice. Let us ensure that the law is interpreted correctly.

RAJAN said...

Dear Shri, Rajaguru,

Any action or explanation of even valid and pertinent points are now seen in other ways. One just needs a good legal expert to point out to the Courts about 1- What is Merit elimination 2- How to do the Roster maintenence and 3- Actual Constitutional guide lines on % Quota of Each Catogery should be stricly followed, as the Apex court in the case of R.K.Sabarwal never pointed out the seniority as Merit, Disturbing the Roster of Officers Non reserved catagory Or Exceeding the Constitutional guide lines on % Quota.
It just says about adjusting the Reserve Catogary Candidates, who competes and qualifies as Non reserved Candidates, to be adjusted as NON RESERVED CANDIDATES THROUGH OUT THEIR CAREER AND THEIR BENEFIT OF RESERVED QUOTA TO BE PASSED ON TO THE OTHER RESERVED CANDIDATES.
But wrong interpretations of the Apex court judgement by the Madras High court and now, as the things going on, after the issue of the WRONG O.M. of 10.08.2010 by DOPT AND YET TO BE SEEN ONLY HEARED Kolkata High Court Interim Order the whole roster of Non Reserved Candidates all India Zone wise will be in disorder.
WHERE IS JUSTICE ?

rajaguru said...

In Chennai Zone, 264 Inspectors were upgraded in 1997 to the post of Superintendents. These 264 Inspectors belonged to 1979, 1980 and 1981 batches. For illustration, 100 belonged to 1979 batch, 100 belonged to 1980 batch and 64 belonged to 1981 batch. That means 22.5 inspectors of 1979, 22.5 inspectors of 1980 and 14 officers of 1981 belonging to SC/ST were included in the list of promotion. The 22.5+22.5=45 inspectors of 1979 and 1980 were placed above the general candidates of 1981 as they belonged to the previous batches.

The leader of the reserved category argues that the 45 officers of 1979 and 1980 belonging to reserved category were accommodated within the top slot of 77.5% posts and therefore, their names should not be counted while counting the heads of SC/ST officers. Practically, it is not so. They reached the top slot of 77.5% due to their batch advantage and not based on the merit as they were at the bottom of 1979 and 1980 batches.

Can we say that these officers got elevated as a result of merit? In that case, is it correct to eliminate their names from counting?

Please illustrate.

rajesh said...

dear all
as copied from the comments from GCONNECT....


The SC/ST candidates who get promotion based on their own merit do not loose their identity as SC/ST. It is only for the purpose of ascertaining the total SC/ST candidates in cadre these SC/ST candidates who have promoted on the basis of merit will not be counted as SC/ST rather they will be counted as unreserved candidates. It may also be placed here that it is not to be ascertained as how many SC/ST candidates are there in cadre rather it is to be ascertained as to how many SC/St candidates have been absorbed against the Roster points earmarked for SC/ST. Please do not get confused that whichever SC/ST candidates get promoted is absorbed against the SC/ST points of the Post-based Roster. They may be absorbed against the unreserved points of the Post based roster. Foe example if there are 200 posts vaccant in any cadre, the top 155 candidates in the merit list will be promoted irrespective of the fact that amongst the top 155 candidates there are SC/ST candidates too. These SC/ST candidates who have been promoted within those top 155 candidates will be considered to have been promoted by virtue of their merit and as a result of this they will be shown against the Unreserved points of the Post based roster. It’the first 155 roster points are earmarked as unreserved points while the bottom 45 (15% for SC and 7.5% for ST) are exclusively reserved for SC and ST candidates only. The SC/ST candidates who are selected for promotion (excluding the SC/ST candidates who are in the top 155 candidates absobed against the unreserved points of the roster)against this leftover/lower 45 posts are to be considered as Reserved acndidates for the counting purpose only.

hope this will eliminate the confusion