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GST - Coffee beans processing units in trouble; seek exemptionGST Council also approves several amendments in CGST RulesGST Council grants mega relief to healthcare services & clarifies rates for many ServicesCX - Claim of assessee that as soon as they paid tax, same became credit in their account is misplaced - Law as it existed at time of taking credit would be applicable: CESTATI-T - Finance cost incurred on overdraft obtained from bank, which is advanced to sister concern for no business purpose, is not allowable business loss: ITATCX - If insurance cover in respect of which credit has been claimed is exclusively in respect of injuries or damages to factory employee, then credit would be admissible: CESTATSteering clear of Anti - Profiteering chargesIssues affecting Credit Card Industry – Budget 2018 should provide solutionsGovt amends Passport Rules to substitute certain documents to be attached under Tatkal & non-Tatkal schemesGST Council extends last date for migrated taxpayers to surrender registration upto March 31, 2018 + reduces penalty for late filing of GSTRs + decides to amend e-Way Bill rulesGST Council reduces tax rate from 28% to 18% on used motor vehicles + from 18% to 12% on sugar boiled confectionary, drinking water packed in 20 litre bottles, bio-diesel and bio-pesticides + from 18% to 5% on components required for satellite launch + LPG supplied for domestic consumption + from 12% to 5% on velvet fabric + from 3% to 0.25% on diamonds & precious stonesGST Council decides to exempt RTI-related services + reduces rate on construction of metro projects to 12% + 5% without ITC on housekeeping service through ECO + 5% rate on tailoring service + 18% rate now on entry ticket to water parks or theme parksGST on Services - ITC allowed to tour operators in same line of business + hikes exemption limit to Rs 7500 per month for Resident Welfare Members + exempts legal services provided to Governments & Govt entities + Rate reduced on transportation of petroleum products to 5% + Rate on job work services to leather and footwear reduced to 5% + exempts transport service provided to educational institutionsGST Council shifts focus on anti-evasion measures; Tax rates reduced on 29 goods & 53 ServicesGST Council decides to divide Rs 35000 Crore IGST collections between Centre & States, provisionally17 lakh Composition taxpayers paid only about Rs 307 Crore; Council expresses disappointmentLegislative changes - Council receives demand to introduce Sec 9(4) only for Composition taxpayersGST Council accepts Fitment Committee recommendations to reduce rates on 29 goods + 53 services; New rates to come into force from Jan 25GST Council accepts Sarna Committee report on handicraft items; Fitment Committee to decide tariff for 40 such itemsGST Council finally decides to stop at uploading of Sale Invoices in GSTR-3B till alternative is worked out and approved at next meeting through video conferencing + e-Way Bill - 15 States to roll out intra-State system on Feb 1, 2018SC terms States’ ban on Padmavat illegal after certification by Central BoardFinancial Year should roll out on Jan 1 rather than on April 1: Sushil ModiHyderabad DRI seizes Saudi & Omni Riyals worth Rs 1 Crore from pax heading for DubaiBihar CM wants Jaitley to hike Sec 80C limit to Sec 2 lakh + general exemption limit to Rs 3 lakhCentre to release Rs 1000 Cr more to AP Govt for its Amaravati projectTripura to go to polls on Feb 18; Nagaland + Meghalaya on Fe 27: Election CommissionGST Council is quite sensitive to exporters' problems, says Vice PresidentJaitley holds Pre-Budget talks with State FMs before Council Meet
 
RECRUITMENT IN REVENUE BOARDS : A CASE OF LOST OPPORTUNITY FOR FM!

By Taxindiaonline News Service

NEW DELHI, MARCH 4: 'INDIA SHINING' is the latest buzzword among the stalwards of the NDA Government. Though the Opposition, as a matter of habit, sees chinks in it but there is no denying that India is shining and, it would have been shining much brighter, had the Finance Minister, Mr Jaswant Singh, been slightly more sensitive to the needs of the revenue and also adequately poll-savvy to fill up the vacancies in the Grades of Group B, C & D in the income tax and Customs & Central Excise Department.

Any guess, how many vacancies exist in these two departments? A whopping 10,000 posts! Had Mr Singh been advised properly by his political-cum-economic advisors, credit would have gone to the NDA Government not only for being sensitive to the intrests of the revenue but also creating a huge pool of at least 25-30 lakh well-wishers. How?

Given the fact that the government jobs have completely gone dry except for the Indian Railways, an average of 25-30 applicants could have applied for these 10,000 posts. This clearly means an application of about three lakh. And, going by the acute employment-crunch theory for highly-educated but non-technical growing population, it would have involved at least 10 family members talking about the welfarist dimesion of the NDA Government. But, it is a case of lost opportunity.

More so, as it was decided by none but Mr Singh himself that until a Cabinet clearance is taken, one-third of the vacancies could be filled up by both the departments as it has evidently been adversely affecting the working and performance of the revenue gatherers! How? There is an acute shortage of Inspectors, Stenoes, Tax Assistants, sepoys, drivers and many more in both the departments. And, as one can very well predict without these necessary assistants, how much delay must be taking place in finalisation of Show Cause Notices and typing of important documents. At present, one steno is being shared by at least three officers turn-by-turn and, since there is a legal obligation to finalise the SCN if a case is made, there is no incentive to officers to go for more than they could at persent chew! Though automation is taking place in both the departments but the skills are missing in most cases and, then the issue is that certain types of jobs are meant for certain types of officers.

So, why was nothing done even after the Finance Minister's decision? Plain lackadaisical attitude and gloriously penny wise and pound foolish approach of the IFU in the Ministry of Finance. Instead of implementing the decision of the Minister, it continued to think more in terms of making an extraordinarily poor saving of Rs 25 cr which both the departments would have incurred by hiring these 3000 employees!

Even the CBDT and CBEC bosses cannot escape from their own quota of blame for poor-handling as Member (P &V) who is the link between the problems of the field formations and the solutions sanctioned at the Minister-level, continued to be more engrossed in routine transfer than any ground-level problem-solving! Worse, something which could have earned tonnes of goodwill for the Government, the Chairman and others in the Board, were simply ignored at the cost of momentum which could have been given to revenue generation campaign.

Worse, the Staff Selection Commission which could have been approached for the selection of Inspectors is yet to receive any formal communication from both the Boards and has already finalised its schedule for 2004. Why none took the initiative is not yet clear and, Mr Singh has nobody but himself to blame for forfeiting a golden opportunity to enrich the political fortune of the party in the forthcoming polls!


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