INCOME TAX EMPLOYEES FEDERATION
Manishinath Bhawan A/2/95 Rajouri Garden,New Delhi. 110 027.
Telefax. 2510 5321; 6543 1807
President: K.P. Rajagopal. Secretary General: Ashok B Salunkhe
Central Board of Direct Taxes
Sub: Quarterly meeting with Chairman, CBDT
We send herewith agenda items with brief note on each item for discussion with the Chairman CBDT. We request that the Quarterly meeting may be convened at an early date.
Ashok B Salunkhe
Item No.1.- To demand equal distribution of vacancies among Administrative-field formation and Directorates.
Due to the ban on recruitment which was in vogue till March 2010, the vacancies in many cadres especially whole direct recruitment is one of the mode of appointment were not full filled up. As filing up of these vacancies does take some time, it becomes difficult to carry on the day to day functions, where such vacancies are large. Most of the Chief Commissioner, (CCA) tries to strike a balance by spreading over the vacancies to different regions and segments within their charge. However, we find that some of the Chief Commissioner, especially in charge of Central Circles, and DG (Inv) insist to fill up all vacancies in their respective charges, which if acceded to will throw the functions in business circles and administrative officers beyond manageable. We suggest that the CCIT (CCA) may be asked to ensure that the vacancies in a charge in different cadres is evenly spread so that no circle or ward or Administrative office will have undue workload .
Item No.2.- To demand "Mobile Hand Set" as token gift on the occasion of "150 years of Income Tax" celebration.
The department has decided to celebrate its 150 year of existence in a befitting manner. Many programmes were held to commemorate the occasion. In some of these program, ITEF representatives were no doubt invited but only at the last moment, giving an impression of non seriousness in the matter. The department's achievements or failure is attributable to the contributions of all personnel. A sense of involvement can be brought about if the administration takes a little care in making the employees feel proud and happy on the occasion. In this connection, we suggest the following for consideration and acceptance.
a) The administration has done well in extending the mobile phone facilities to all employees up to the level of Group C without any additional expenditure to the exchequer. We are thankful for acceptance of our suggestion, in this behalf. As part of the 150th Anniversary celebration of the Department, all employees may be provided with a Mobile Hand Set and the cost thereof may be met from the 150 year Celebration expenses.
b) To set up a committee to bring about a detailed history of the department, right from the day of its inception.
Item No. 3. – Advance increment to Sr.TA and Stgr.II on passing Deptl.Exam for Inspectors
Senior TA and Steno Grade II are eligible candidates to appear for Inspectors Examination. Both the cadres are placed in PB-2, with Grade Pay of Rs. 4200/-. They are feeder cadres for promotion as Inspector. Inspectors are in PB-2 with Grade Pay of Rs.4600/. Presently they are denied Advance increment on passing ITO examination. This is because that they were called "Assistance" and "Head Clerks" prior to restructuring of the Department. The minimum of pay scales of Head Clerk and "Inspectors" were same at that point of time . In those days, normally a UDC had to wait for 15 to 20 years to become Head Clerk. Presently the waiting period for a TA to become to SR. TA is 5 to 7 years, and Steno OG to be Steno Grade –II 3 to 4 years, with the result they may not get sufficient time to take up Inspectors examination as they are to perforce to pass the Ministerial Staff examination prior to that. This has resulted in the fact that employees who are in cadre of Stenographer Gr.II and Senior Tax Assistants do not get any Advance increment for passing the Inspectors examination.
We suggest that the Sr. TA and Steno Grade II be made entitled to have two advance increment on passing the Inspectors examination. Incidentally we may also point out that the denial of advance increment to Head Clerk had been the matter of appeal before the CAT ,. Which had ruled that they should be granted the said two advance increment as denial thereof amounts to unjust discrimination. This judgment was not made applicable to all similarly placed persons and the department preferred an appeal to Supreme Court, which was later dismissed.
Item No. 4 – Sufficient allocaton of funds for Medical, Travelling and Conveyance allowances.
It has been our oft-repeated demand that sufficient funds be allocated to all budgetary units to meet the expenses pertaining to Medical and Conveyance and Traveling Allowance. In respect of Conveyance and T.A. it is a feasible preposition to estimate the probable expenditure under these heads on the basis of what had been actually spent in the previous year. In most of the Budgetary units estimate the requirement for the ensuing year on the basis of actual amount spent during the previous year without taking into account the bills that were presented had not been encashed for want of funds. To correct the situation what is required is a specific instruction to be issued for all the budgetary units in this regard. On receipt of this estimate the Integrated Financial Unit (IFU) may be requested not to cut short the actual allocation under these heads as doing so will have a cascading effect.
In respect of Medical Bills the old procedure was to treat it as part of the salary bill. Having bifurcated the allocation for medical and salary separately the reimbursement of medical bills have begun to encounter problems of encashment for want of funds. It is not possible to estimate with any accuracy the requirement under this head for any Drawing and Disbursing Officer. This is because of the reason that a medical expenditure cannot be ancitipated. It is the experience that while a few budgetary units have excess funds under this head, large number of them exhaust the allocated funds within 3 months of the commencement of the Financial Year. We, therefore, suggest that whatever funds that is required and solicited by the budgetary units should be made available to them by the IFU in that F.Y. itself.
Item No. 5 - To demand Regional recruitment & postings for Direct Recruitment posts.
Presently Direct Recruits is one of the mode of appointment for the following cadres:
1) Multi Tasking Staff
2) Notice Server
3) Tax Assistants
4) Stenographer Gr.III
As per the extent Recruitment Rules all of them are Gr.C employees. All Gr. C employees in the department have charge- wise seniority and are not liable for transfer from one recruiting unit to another. They are also not considered for promotion against vacancies that arise in an another charge. This being the case they were normally recruited on State Wise competitive/regionwise competitive exams. This had been the practice till a few years ago.
Presently direct recruitment is on the basis of an All India Competitive Exams held by the SSC. The candidate thus recruited are posted far away from their home state defeating the very purpose of the employment offered to him. All Group C posts in the Govt of India carry a meager salary and the personnel so recruited are not capable of meeting the expenditure enjoyed on posting outside his own State. Except for the post of Inspectors where the salary structure is more than that of a normal Gr. C post in all other cases the candidate are incapable of facing the hardship connected with the posting outside the State on initial appointment. We, therefore suggest that the earlier procedure of recruiting candidates regionally must be resorted to in as much as it is known to all that quite number of candidates also were selected but posted to far-off places has to decline the offer of appointment thereby creating large number of vacancies in these cadres. This has also resulted in throwing the departments functions out of gear for want of manpower. It is also our experience that even those who have joined duty out of desperation do make strenuous efforts to go back to their home State on inter charge transfer, the denial thereof making them an unwilling worker. We, therefore reiterate that recruitments to all Gr. C cadres must be regionwise as was the case earlier.
Item No. 6 – Departmental examination to be conducted during June-July every year.
Presently there are 3 levels of departmental exam as under :
1) Ministeral Staff Examination
2) Inspectors Examination
3) Income Tax Officers Examination
Elsewhere we have suggested that all these exams should be combined together and made into one single exam with two parts. The details of this suggestion were incorporated in our submissions before the cadre restructuring committee but was decided to be considered by the DI(HRD) separately For the last 5 to 6 years, these exams were held for various compelling reasons in the month of October, November and December. The employees and officers of the department are saddled with heavy workload in the last 3 months of the calendar year as the scrutiny cases are taken up in these months and limitation for completion for completion of assessments presently expires on 31st of December. We, therefore suggest especially in the background that most of the papers in these exams are of objective type and that these exams may be conducted preferably in the month of June instead of October, November and December both for the convenience of the department as well as the candidates.
Item No. 7 – Functioning of Local Placement Committee – Transfer to be made on the basis of guidelines framed in the JCM Meetings/Discussion with the Federation.
The transfer guidelines in the case of non-gazetted employees had been issued by the Board two decades ago. The guidelines have been in operation in respect of all charges. According to the guidelines the CCIT(CCA) in each charge will discuss the transfer policy in the JCM regional council and will reach an agreement with the Staff Associations. The transfer policy once agreed upon is acted upon in effecting transfers of the employees. If for any reasons it is felt that these policies require amendment either by the Staff Side or by the Official Side the same is proposed to the regional councils for discussion and agreement. This practice has been very effectively followed without having any room for any complaint from any corner whatsoever. However, the Board later issued instructions to all CCITs to the effect that the transfers of the non-gazetted employees should be made on approval obtained from a placement committee specifically constituted in each charge. This instruction in effect superseded the guidelines issued previously without telling it so and causing no consultation with the ITEF. Since the CCIT(CCAs) are perforced to listen to the other CCITs in that charge who are their colleagues, the transfer policy and the guidelines have become the casualty. The transfers effected on the basis of the discussions and decisions in the local placement committee have resulted in generation of friction between these Federations State Units and the local administration. No guidelines have been issued by the Board as to how the local placement committee be constituted. The representatives of the ITEF have no avenue for interaction with the local placement committee which they have enjoyed when effecting transfers were the prerogative of the CCIT(CCA). Since the extrant transfer guidelines do not envisage the setting up the local placement committee as is the case with the transfer guidelines in the case of group A officers, the boards instructions issued in the matter is not tenable.
We, therefore suggest that the instruction issued to the effect that transfers must be with the approval of the local placement committee be rescinded and the procedure followed hitherto be reiterated.
Item No. 8 - Accommodating personnel promoted as OS and Stgr. In the same station since no financial benefit is allowed on such promotions.
As per the extant transfer guidelines in respect of Non Gazetted employees, transfer of a person from one station to another can be restored on his promotion. On the implementation of the 6th CPC report, the senior Tax Assistant and office Superintendents are in the same PB and Grade Pay. Similar in the case of stenographer Gr.II and Grade I. On their promotion as the Office Supt and Stenographer Gr.I for the reason that promoted grade carry the same PB and Grade Pay, they are denied the benefit of pay fixation under F.R.22(A)(I (a). Presently they do not get any financial benefit even though it is technically still a promotion. We therefore request that on promotion, the Senior Tax Assistants and Stenographer Gr.II may be asked to br retained in the same place by effecting the transfer of posts if necessary.
Item No. 9- To restore Special Pay provisions in the areas where it was available.
The scheme of Special Pay was in vogue for the following purposes.
a)If an official is asked to perform an arduous nature of work
b)If an official is assigned a job of higher responsibility than those assigned to the cadres in which he is functioning.
In the case of non-gazetted employees Special Pay was assigned to the Inspectors working in the Internal Audit Party and certain other circles. On restructuring of the department, the internal audit system underwent a change. It has been restored back.
Recently orders were issued by the Directorate of HRD that the special pay which were granted to the Gr.A Officers would continue to be made available to them at double the rates after the acceptance of the 6th CPC recommendations. We, therefore suggest that similar orders may be issued in the case of Group B and C officials if they are posted and asked to function in special pay posts. They may be provided with the double the rate of special pay with effect from 1.1.2006
Item No. 10 - To demand that the Zonal Accounts Offices be manned by Income Tax Department in the true sense of departmentalization of accounting system.
The Central working Committee of ITEF which met in the month of November,2010 at Kolkata heard various complaints from the Circle General Secretaries of different charges. They are unanimous in stating that the Zonal accounts officers do make frivolous objections one after another before passing the bills for payments, especially in the case of claims made by the non Gazetted employees. On quit a number of occasions, they had questioned even the authority of the Board to pass certain orders and insist upon clarifications from the Department of Expenditure. In respect of the claim preferred by the senior officers, even though similar in nature are passed for payment. For insufficiency of manpower in the office of Zonal Account offices, the Department do provided them with staff drawn from field formations, where they are denied facilities otherwise provided to the staff directly under the control of the Controller and Accounts. The very purpose of departmentalization of accounts for which Government of India took the decision in 1975 has been defeated by keeping the accounting departments under a different administrative control. This is not to suggest that the bills must be passed with out proper scrutiny but to insist upon the requirement that the employees must not be harassed unnecessary. We therefore, demand that the Accounting organizations in each chief Commissionerates must be brought under his administrative control and any objection on any claim taken up with the board for necessary clarification through the Chief Commissioners without holding up the bills. Once the objection is found to be in order, the excess claim made by the employee on the basis of valid order of the Board can be dealt with as per rules.