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All you need to know about Income Tax department's strike
October, 08th 2015

The Income tax department employees are going on a nation wide strike on Thursday. Last month on September 23, two major associations had declared that they have slowed down the revenue collection work. They even threatened to stop all work if their demands are not met by October first week.

What is the strike all about?

The nationwide one-day strike is being called by the income tax officials to protest the high number of vacancies in the income tax department and delay in promotions and appointments in the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT).

The IT department employees have threatened the CBDT that they will stop all work including I-T search and survey operations from October 8 onwards if their demands are not met.

Who are participating in the strike?

Two prominent groups- Income Tax Employees Federation (ITEF) and Income Tax Gazetted Officers' Association (ITGOA) who are part of the Joint Council of Action (JCA) are participating in the strike on Thursday.

These two associations represent about 97% of the total income tax department's workforce. The associations had stopped reporting to their seniors from September 23.

"We have informed the CBDT that we are not going to be a part of government's latest initiative of widening the tax base which aims to include about 35 lakh new assessees every month," said Ajay Goyal, President, ITGOA during a press conference last month.

What are their demands?

The associations have given a five point charter of demands which includes the delay in promotions and appointments in the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), promotion of income tax officers to assistant commissioners and other lower (B to C) category posts within the department.

More than 600 posts of assistant commissioners are lying vacant since the restructuring of the department. The JCA leaders said that candidates have been awaiting promotions for more than 15 years, according to Business Today reports.

"Thousands of B and C category posts are lying vacant but could not be filled due to the lazy attitude of the authorities," the JCA leaders said.

Ashok K Kanojia, President, ITEF said that their major demands also include lack of workspace and infrastructure.

The government aims to achieve Rs 17.92 lakh crore revenue collection target during 2015-16, out of which Rs 7.98 lakh crore is to be collected by the income tax department which comprises of 44.5% of the total revenue collection.

The officials have warned the government if their demands are not met it might fail to achieve the target set in the Union Budget 2015-16.

CBDT had promised to the government that their department will add 1 crore assessees but the department also warned that unless new recruitment happens, tax collection will be less than that of last year.

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