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Unlike CBDT, CBIC contest for board-level jobs seems more civil

By Rakesh Ranjan- 27 Aug 2021


New Delhi (27.08.2021): Following the appointment of three new members of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), expectations have heightened that the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) too may get its three new members in a day or two.

In the CBDT, the new appointments of members were made carefully in the face of wild allegations flying around the contestants for the much-sought job. The wild animal game in CBDT is not yet over as two of the three members who were appointed on May 27, 2021, quietly vie for the top post of chairman of the CBDT. As a stop-gap measure, Member-Investigation J B Mohapatra is holding the fort in the capacity of Chairman. Whether he will get confirmed in his ad-hoc assignment is not yet certain as Anuja Sarangi (Member- Vigilance) is also competing for the top job by all means.

It is worth underlining that ahead of the appointment of a regular chairman in CBDT there has been a deluge of anonymous complaints and decades-old vigilance cases were broadcast to sharpen one’s prospects and scuttle the chances of others. All it has made the CBDT turf too rough.  

In the CBIC, the game, in contrast, is said to be played with much civility. That is largely because no post-retirement lollypop is available there- unlike the CBDT, where the favored ones were delighted with chairmanship post-retirement and blessed with extension after extension that too on a contract basis.

Readers may like to note that CBIC Member Ajay Jain retired in April this year while two members Sandeep Mohan Bhatnagar and Om Prakash Dadhich are concluding their terms this month-end whereas chairman Ajit M Kumar is retiring November this year. Highly-placed sources have indicated that the outgoing CBIC members Bhatnagar and Dadhich may not be granted an extension and a fresh set of three members may be elected for the vacant posts.

(Rakesh Ranjan)


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