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Too Straight Too Fast

Hasmukh Adhia’s punitive push for reforms gets stressed taxmen into a mutinous mood

Too Straight Too Fast
Bogey Taxman | Photograph by Jitender Gupta
Too Straight Too Fast
outlookindia.com
2016-08-09T14:47:08+05:30

The Minor Mutiny

  • A protest resolution is passed by Mumbai-based IRS officers on July 22 over punishment transfer orders to two senior members and ­interference of Department of Revenue (DOR) in operational matters
  • The punishment transfer was on account of demands made on the state-run SBI to pay up advance tax to help bridge the shortfall in ­revenue collection
  • Pushing to meet revenue targets, the DOR had been holding weekly int­eractions with field staff, which was perceived by tax officials as overstepping and undermining the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBTD)
  • On July 31, the Joint Council of Action, representing different tax workers’ cadres, got assurance from the Finance Minister of early action on their grievances. After that, the protest was withdrawn
  • In October 2015, the IRS officials held a one-day strike to protest ­service conditions, including delay ­in promotions and disparity in pay compared to other services

***

They’re calling it the Group-A Mutiny from Mumbai. An unp­recedented protest by a section of bureaucrats—Indian Revenue Services officers—last week was the first sign that not all are enamoured by the Narendra Modi government’s style of functioning. This is the first challenge to the narrative that “Modi might make bureaucrats work hard, but he has their support in getting things done”.

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