CBDT MEMBER

cbdt-top-officials-in-an-awkward-situation

CBDT top officials in an awkward situation

The clueless seniors IRS officials find themselves in an awkward situation whether they should meet to congratulate the incumbent Chairman for extension or to meet and greet the outgoing Chairman for his long association. P C Mody (Retd IRS IT:1982) is completing his extended tenure (on contract) today.


31 Aug 2020
honouring-honest-taxpayer-faceless-seamless-and-anxieties-among-the-executors

Honouring honest taxpayer: Faceless, seamless and anxieties among the executors

Former Congress Minister of Finance P Chidambaram, as part of one of his 'noble' schemes, had aspired to ensure 'minimum human intervention' in tax assessment and execution. In a way, he wanted a faceless tax administration system. He couldn't execute it though he efficiently played the system to maximize his political fortunes.

Working on this 'noble' scheme, the NDA government has purportedly come about with a scheme  branded as "honoring the honest taxpayer."

Time will tell whether the scheme really succeeds in its mission. But it has already triggered some anxieties among the executors.

IRS officers are feeling helpless and angry over the government stereotyping them as dishonest following the government's decision to turn the tax administration into a seamless and faceless network-centric operation without any personal contact whatsoever. They feel that the dignity of their service has been compromised by their seniors who have failed to convince the political dispensation that not all IRS officers are corrupt and that the entire IRS shouldn't be treated in the same manner. They are disheartened that PM Narendra Modi has used expressions like "setting, jaan-pehchan, collusion, harassment, etc" to describe the functioning of the IRS, while the other organs of the state like judiciary, police, lawmakers, and businesses have been spared the 'honor.' They believe that the PM's stand on the IRS is a biased one and may be motivated by his own helplessness to clean up the system as promised by him to the voters for ‘a corruption-free India’.

It is argued that the new network-centric faceless operation requires unstinted cooperation and support of IRS officers, who are already grappling with the current system-based functioning that has not yet stabilized and is a cause of grievance for the taxpayer and the tax officer alike.

It is also argued that the timelines given for implementing the new setup may not be practical as the assessees may not be ready since many businessmen still maintain manual books and network connectivity in remote areas is poor? It is feared that lawless assessees may find a handle not to comply in the absence of tax authority in their vicinity.  It is argued that the general assumption of an honest taxpayer and a dishonest tax officer is flawed and is based on crowd-pleasing stereotypes.

It is further argued that the element of a hurry, visible in the full-fledged extension of the e-assessment scheme without stabilizing the functioning of the existing ReACs, may prove its bane like the scheme of demonetization/remonetization. It is suggested that "we should have seen at least one full cycle of the result, taken feedback and understood the problems of all stakeholders, officers, taxpayers, taxpayer representatives before making this full-fledged extension. We should have seen whether the officers are able to understand the complex issues without proper representations, whether both sides are capable of understanding each other merely by written submissions. We should have tried to form a unanimous view of the Department on each issue using the existing ReACs set-up. Up till now, all the system related work was related to accounting, electronic calculations, etc. Taking over of this work by the CPCs has resulted in very good results. But the work which required human intelligence which depends on the ingenuity of the officer can not be easily taken over by the system without giving full regard to the human aspects."

It is further recommended that the "selection of cases using CASS is one such aspect of work which requires human intelligence. CASS is still not very effective despite being implemented for more than 10 years. Investigation and framing an assessment require intelligence, drive, motivation and perseverance besides an understanding of complex issues. We may have built a system that is capable of handling a faceless assessment. But have we readied the manpower who is required to execute it? Have we trained it? Have we improved their reading, writing skills, computer skills? Have we ensured that they are ready and willing for this change? Have we studied how the breaking of a wholesome task (which gives recognition to the officers) into components (being executed by anonymous entities) will still motivate the officers? Since the success of this scheme requires success in all these aspects, a study of these aspects and a calibrated approach on their execution would have led to better results".

Since these suggestions have followed much after the government announced its decision, it is unlikely they may be heeded to. Only the failure of the announced scheme may prompt the government to step back and work out innovations to make the scheme succeed.

(By Rakesh Ranjan)

25 Aug 2020
cbdt-top-officials-in-an-awkward-situation

CBDT top officials in an awkward situation

By IndianMandarins 31 Aug 2020

The clueless seniors IRS officials find themselves in an awkward situation whether they should meet to congratulate the incumbent Chairman for extension or to meet and greet the outgoing Chairman for his long association. P C Mody (Retd IRS IT:1982) is completing his extended tenure (on contract) today.


honouring-honest-taxpayer-faceless-seamless-and-anxieties-among-the-executors

Honouring honest taxpayer: Faceless, seamless and anxieties among the executors

By Rakesh Ranjan 25 Aug 2020

Former Congress Minister of Finance P Chidambaram, as part of one of his 'noble' schemes, had aspired to ensure 'minimum human intervention' in tax assessment and execution. In a way, he wanted a faceless tax administration system. He couldn't execute it though he efficiently played the system to maximize his political fortunes.

Working on this 'noble' scheme, the NDA government has purportedly come about with a scheme  branded as "honoring the honest taxpayer."

Time will tell whether the scheme really succeeds in its mission. But it has already triggered some anxieties among the executors.

IRS officers are feeling helpless and angry over the government stereotyping them as dishonest following the government's decision to turn the tax administration into a seamless and faceless network-centric operation without any personal contact whatsoever. They feel that the dignity of their service has been compromised by their seniors who have failed to convince the political dispensation that not all IRS officers are corrupt and that the entire IRS shouldn't be treated in the same manner. They are disheartened that PM Narendra Modi has used expressions like "setting, jaan-pehchan, collusion, harassment, etc" to describe the functioning of the IRS, while the other organs of the state like judiciary, police, lawmakers, and businesses have been spared the 'honor.' They believe that the PM's stand on the IRS is a biased one and may be motivated by his own helplessness to clean up the system as promised by him to the voters for ‘a corruption-free India’.

It is argued that the new network-centric faceless operation requires unstinted cooperation and support of IRS officers, who are already grappling with the current system-based functioning that has not yet stabilized and is a cause of grievance for the taxpayer and the tax officer alike.

It is also argued that the timelines given for implementing the new setup may not be practical as the assessees may not be ready since many businessmen still maintain manual books and network connectivity in remote areas is poor? It is feared that lawless assessees may find a handle not to comply in the absence of tax authority in their vicinity.  It is argued that the general assumption of an honest taxpayer and a dishonest tax officer is flawed and is based on crowd-pleasing stereotypes.

It is further argued that the element of a hurry, visible in the full-fledged extension of the e-assessment scheme without stabilizing the functioning of the existing ReACs, may prove its bane like the scheme of demonetization/remonetization. It is suggested that "we should have seen at least one full cycle of the result, taken feedback and understood the problems of all stakeholders, officers, taxpayers, taxpayer representatives before making this full-fledged extension. We should have seen whether the officers are able to understand the complex issues without proper representations, whether both sides are capable of understanding each other merely by written submissions. We should have tried to form a unanimous view of the Department on each issue using the existing ReACs set-up. Up till now, all the system related work was related to accounting, electronic calculations, etc. Taking over of this work by the CPCs has resulted in very good results. But the work which required human intelligence which depends on the ingenuity of the officer can not be easily taken over by the system without giving full regard to the human aspects."

It is further recommended that the "selection of cases using CASS is one such aspect of work which requires human intelligence. CASS is still not very effective despite being implemented for more than 10 years. Investigation and framing an assessment require intelligence, drive, motivation and perseverance besides an understanding of complex issues. We may have built a system that is capable of handling a faceless assessment. But have we readied the manpower who is required to execute it? Have we trained it? Have we improved their reading, writing skills, computer skills? Have we ensured that they are ready and willing for this change? Have we studied how the breaking of a wholesome task (which gives recognition to the officers) into components (being executed by anonymous entities) will still motivate the officers? Since the success of this scheme requires success in all these aspects, a study of these aspects and a calibrated approach on their execution would have led to better results".

Since these suggestions have followed much after the government announced its decision, it is unlikely they may be heeded to. Only the failure of the announced scheme may prompt the government to step back and work out innovations to make the scheme succeed.

(By Rakesh Ranjan)

cbdt-major-reshuffle-effected-at-principal-chief-commissioner-and-principal-cc-level

CBDT: Major reshuffle effected at Principal Chief Commissioner and Principal CC level

By IndianMandarins 09 Aug 2020

In a major reshuffle effected by the Central Board of Direct Taxes, on Friday, 16 senior IRS (IT) officers working at Principal Chief Commissioner Income Tax (PCCIT) and Chief Commissioner Income Tax (CCIT)/DGIT level posts were transferred and posted to different places. 

Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax:-

  • Amit Jain- Principal Chief Commissioner Income Tax, Gujarat
  • Pritam Singh- Principal Chief Commissioner Income Tax, UP (East)
  • Ravindra Kumar- Principal Chief Commissioner Income Tax, Kerala

Chief Commissioner and Director General of Income Tax:-

  • Pragya Sahay Saksena- Chief Commissioner Income Tax C, International Taxation, West Zone, Mumbai
  • Reena Sinha Puri- DGIT (L&R), New Delhi
  • H B S Gill- Director General IT (Investigation), Delhi.
  • Rajat Bansal- Chief Commissioner Income Tax, Central Delhi
  • R K Yadav- DG IT (I&CI), Delhi
  • Sumant Sinha-  DGIT Investigation, Jaipur
  • Patanjali- Chief Commissioner Income Tax-2, Mumbai
  • V Srinivas- DG Income Tax (Investigation), Bengaluru
  • Rajkumar Lachhiramaka- Chief Commissioner Income Tax, Shillong
  • K C P Patnaik- DGIT Income Tax (Investigation), Pune
  • Binay Kumar Jha- CCIT-5, Kolkata
  • K M Bali- Chief Commissioner Income Tax, Ludhiana
  • Sadhna Shankar- Chief Commissioner Income Tax, Ghaziabad

cbdt-gupta-and-prasad-appointed-as-member

CBDT: Gupta and Prasad appointed as Member

By IndianMandarins 25 Mar 2020

As Indianmandarins had reported first (10.01.2020) the NaMo administration on Tuesday cleared the appointment of Satish Kumar Gupta (IRS IT:1984), Principal CCIT, Mumbai and Krishna Mohan Prasad (IRS IT:1984), PCCIT (NeAC) New Delhi to the post of Member, Central Board of Direct Taxes.

K M Prasad was the first PCCIT, National e-Assessment Centre (NeAC) which was created in September 2019 with an objective to reduce human discretion in assessments and scrutiny, which in turn will eliminate possibilities of corruption, by leveraging new technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, video conferencing, telecommunication application software and mobile applications.

first-of-its-kind:-cbdt’s-first-national-hr-conference-in-delhi-today

First of its kind: CBDT’s first National HR Conference in Delhi today

By IndianMandarins 20 Dec 2019

Indianmandarins has reliably learnt that Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) is holding first of its kind day-long conference on HR in Delhi today. Reportedly, approx. 40 Principal Chief Commissioner Income Tax (PCCIT) are expected to mark their presence from across the country. In addition, over a dozen PCCIT rank officers working under IT headquarters too will be joining the conference.

Reportedly, it will discuss the HR issues but amid sinking economy, declining revenue collection and Union Budget ahead it may discuss some result oriented issued to augment promotional logjam and revenues etc.

cbdt:-has-appointment-rules-for-board-level-positions-changed-

CBDT: Has appointment rules for Board level positions changed?

By IndianMandarins 08 Nov 2019

If some top sources are to be believed, the appointment rules for board level positions in the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has been rehashed making a big departure from the earlier position.

Contrary to the existing rule, the Board-level posts may not be advertised now. Under the new provisions the Department of Revenue will suo motto pick up five officers from the list officers empanelled to hold Apex level posts (26 Apex posts under CBDT). The shortlisted candidates will be interviewed for the post of Member, CBDT. Following the interview, service records and experience, names will be selected and will be sent to the ACC for clearance.

Under the new provisions posts of member will not be advertised and hence officers would not come to know about the vacancy of the post. Reportedly, as per the new rule names will straight away be picked by the Department of Revenue in consultation with Chairman CBDT for interview.

As per the existing rules, any candidate eligible to hold HAG Plus post used to apply for the Board-level posts. But as per rehashed rules only Principal Chief Commissioner (PCCIT) rank officers would be considered and shortlisted for interview. Those in the know of the affairs say that many PCCIT rank officers prefer to serve in the field as the chief of regions rather becoming part of the Board. Probably, this is also a reason selection process /rules were rehashed.

appointment-of-cbdt-members-soon

Appointment of CBDT members soon

By IndianMandarins 29 Oct 2019

The NaMo administration is expected to announce the appointment of Ms Seema Khorana Patra (IRS IT:1983) and Subrata Kumar Dash (IRS IT:1983) as Member, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT). Ms Patra’s appointment would be against the vacancy caused after the retirement of Susheel Chandra whereas Dash’s appointment would be against the post vacated by Mrs Neena Kumar (IRS IT:1982). 

prabhash-shankar-tipped-as-member,-cbdt

Prabhash Shankar tipped as Member, CBDT

By IndianMandarins 16 Apr 2019

Indianmandarins has reliably learned that the Committee of Secretaries last week approved the name of Prabhash Shankar (IRS IT:1983) for the post of Member, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT). Subject to the ACC clearance, he may have tenure with the board till January 2021. Presently, he is Principal Chief Commissioner Income Tax (Delhi). 

 

At present, the posts of Member (Investigation) and Member (Administration) are lying vacant. Reportedly, Shankar’s selection has been cleared against the vacancy of Member (Investigation).

 

It may be noted that the post of Member (Administration) fell vacant after the appointment of Pramod Chandra Modi (IRS IT:1982) was appointed the Chairman of CBDT.

 

Presently, the additional charge of investigation is with the Chairman whereas the additional charge of Member (Administration) is with Ms. Neena Kumar (IRS IT:1982), Member (Revenue).

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