Income tax officers in Pune on Wednesday held a day-long dharna outside the office of the Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax to protest against inadequate infrastructure, pending promotions and the apparent apathy of the Central Board of Direct Taxes towards the non-IRS officers and staff. The agitation was also witnessed at all the department offices across the country.
According to the official communique released by the Joint Council of Action (Income Tax Employees Federation and Income Tax Gazetted Officers Association), the department has 30-40 per cent posts vacant. “The vacancies are arising due to no proper steps being taken to even notify the recruitment rules which are the basics of the process,” said the release.
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The release added that the department has 4,923 officers, of which 50 per cent are from the IRS cadre. “Although they hardly have 4 per cent of the total workforce, but IRS officers alone have the privilege to interact with political authorities and take decisions,” the release read.
Members of the joint council said there was no basic infrastructure like sitting accommodation for a majority of the officers. Also, steps to promote officers as assistant commissioners have not been taken. “Almost 900 posts of assistant commissioners are lying vacant,” the release added.
The joint council has demanded that the outsourcing of regular officers be stopped and immediate steps be taken to fill up all the vacant posts.
The dharna will be followed by a half-day walk out on October 1 and a possible strike on October 8, after which the council will intensify its protest if their demands are not met.