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Cadre-restructuring by CBDT, CBEC: Focus is to mitigate stagnation at cutting-edge levels; Principal CC-posts proposed by CBEC

SEPTEMBER 13, 2010

By TIOL News Service

RESTRUCTURING is globally seen as a positive overture to the changing environment for both business and governance. The Union Government has been trying hard to 'redesign and repackage' both the direct as well as indirect tax laws. Although it has achieved only partial success so far but the preparations for restructuring of cadres for tax administration are on the right track. If one goes by five-year norm or the 6th Pay Commission recommendations, it may look hugely delayed but it has been moving rapidly. If we go by the statements of the Finance Minister at various public fora, the cadre review of various services of both the Revenue Boards is likely to be through with the first two stages of approval - the Finance Ministry and the DoP&T. It may be guesstimated that the proposals should be reaching the Cabinet sometime in December for final approval. And, interestingly, the expenditure implication for both the proposals is going to be only in the range of Rs 2000 Crore per annum.

Here are the highlights of the proposals for both the Revenue Boards:

++ CBEC has proposed a jump in the total number of personnel from 66808 to 95168 after surrendering about 6906 posts; CBDT has asked for about 38000 additional posts;

++ CBEC has gone back to the Principal Chief Commissioner system. It has proposed 18 posts of Principal Chief Commissioners - nine zonal heads for NINE proposed zones plus nine Directorates are to be upgraded to be headed by Principal Chief Commissioners. Besides, 77 more posts of Chief Commissioners are proposed to be created. For the CBDT, an additional 116 posts of CCITs have been proposed. Out of these, 40 posts are demanded to be upgraded to the level of highest pay bracket i.e. Rs 80,000/-.

++ At the Commissioner level, the CBEC has proposed a graded rank - Commissioner, Grade I and Commissioner, Grade II. For the former category, the proposal is to create 100 new posts and the latter to have 363 posts, including 295 existing ones. CBDT has gone by the operational index theory and has proposed higher status for administrative CIT in comparison to CIT(A). The number of administrative CITs for assessment charges is proposed to be increased by 250.

++ At the Addl / JC-level, the CBEC has proposed a sharp leapfrogging from 593 posts to 1550 posts. The CBDT has also proposed an increase commensurate with the rationale devised for the restructuring.

++ The CBEC has proposed a Hanuman-jump at the cutting-edge level by proposing an increase from 1550 posts AC/DCs to 4900 posts. This is to take care of stagnation in the various feeder cadres.

++ The CBDT has proposed creation of 20,000 additional posts at the ITO-level;

++ The number of Commissionerates will jump from existing 93 Central Excise Commissionerates and 7 Service Tax Commissionerates to 119 Central Excise Commissionerates and 22 exclusive Service Tax Commissionerates;

++ For the Customs, it will be up from 35 to 60 Commissionerates;

++ In addition, 45 new Audit Commissionerates have been proposed by the CBEC;

++ Directorate of Safeguard and Directorate of Export Promotion are proposed to be merged;

++ Directorate General of Service Tax is proposed to be shifted to Delhi;

++ A new Directorate of International Customs is proposed to be created to deal with WCO, WTO and WIPO.

Criteria adopted by Revenue Boards

++ Revenue Norms: Rs. 1750 Crore Central Excise Annual Revenue {(PLA + CENVAT) - Each Commissionerate of Central Excise shall have 5 Divisions and 25 Ranges. The Commissionerates located in an area, which is not covered by an exclusive Service Tax Commissionerate, would be given manpower equivalent to the staff allocated to one Division exclusively for Service Tax. Commissionerates having Oil Refinery within their jurisdiction would be provided additional staff equivalent to one Range for One Refinery;

++ For a Service Tax Commissionerate, Rs 3000 Cr annual revenue or more than 17500 assessees has been taken as a benchmark. Each Commissionerate of  Service Tax shall have 5 Divisions and 25 Ranges.

++ For a new Customs Commissionerate, the benchmarks adopted are 125000 Bills of Entry for Customs (Imports) and 200000 Shipping Bills for Export Commissionerate. 150000 BEs & SBs for integrated Customs Commissionerate.

These are broadly the major proposals of the CBEC and CBDT cadre reviews and restructuring of various Commissionerates and Directorates. Less information has been provided for CBDT proposals as the CBDT continues to look confused and also secretive about some of its proposals. The Directorate of HRD which is being saddled with multifarious roles and powers, needs quality personnel if CBDT wants it to play an active role in overall designing of the roadmap for the Department.

TIOL would like to comment more on these proposals which the entire approach is about right-sizing the Department or to simply grab as many posts as possible and then fight over the lesser number of attractive turfs. At present these proposals are being scrutinised at various stages and let's hope they are put in the top gear to quick approval of the Cabinet.

 

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