The Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Indirect Taxes) officers association has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him not to entertain proposals for extension, after superannuation, from any member of Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) as it demoralises the cadre. In a letter to the prime minister, the association said that its officers are highly agitated that seeking an extension of tenure beyond superannuation promotes vested interests and lobbying which is detrimental to professional conduct of revenue collection and prevention of tax evasion. Moreover serving officers are experiencing humongous strain in seamless flow of tax policy models initiated by such retired officers no longer in the civil list, the association said.
The letter, written by president of the association Naresh Penumaka, mentioned extension given by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) to a CBIC member last year. The ACC is headed by the prime minister.
“It is to bring to your kind notice that many serving IRS (C&IT) officers have brought to my notice that some more members, CBIC are likely to be given extension/reappointment after retirement and proposals are at an active consideration stage, it said in the letter dated June 30. In this regard, I humbly submit that extension of tenure beyond superannuation demoralises the cadre as the entire chain of promotion gets blocked that too when sufficient eligible officers are available for promotion, said Penumaka, Principal Chief Commissioner, Visakhapatnam zone. He said that members’ tenure should be co-terminus with superannuation.
As your honour is aware that CBIC & Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) members don’t have fixed tenure, hence their tenure should be co-terminus with superannuation. They do not figure in the civil list after retirement, the letter said. Speaking to PTI, Penumaka said a CBIC member was last year given extension of one year which will be completing in August 2021 and “we found no value addition by him". He said due to such extension of tenure, officers are retiring without getting elevation in rank.
Revenue department is very professionally managed and any post retirement retention will affect impartiality in dealing with tax evasion cases, Penumaka said. As many as 6,400 officers of Indian Revenue Service (Customs & Indirect Taxes) and 98,000 employees of the department are worried about their career, he said.
The association with 150 office-bearers across India has discussed the resolution (to write the letter) and there was not a single office-bearer who opposed it in writing. So it’s a unanimous decision to write the letter, he said.