In a major set back for the income tax (I-T) department, its officials on Tuesday revived their agitation of not taking part in searches and surveys. The officials had earlier protested from December 5 to January 3 to demand promotions pending for the past two years. The agitation was
suspended after the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) assured that it would resolve the issue by the third week of January. However, with the CBDT failing to clear promotions, the officials submitted a notice to the board chairman and members saying that they were resuming their agitation.
In Mumbai, 80 promotions of income tax officer (ITO) to assistant commissioner of income tax (ACIT) and deputy commissioner level are pending for past two years. The number in the country is over 400.
With the protest resuming, the department is worried about achieving its target, Reviving of the agitation would make it further difficult to reach anywhere closer to the tax collection target, said a senior I-T official, requesting anonymity.
The department in Mumbai has got a target of Rs2.04 lakh crore that has to be collected by March 31. It has so far managed to collect only a little over half of the amount.
After losing the Vodafone case, the sentiments in the department is down and reviving of the agitation would only add to the agony, the official said.
The department in Mumbai has to refund around Rs2,500 crore to Vodafone that the company had deposited pending legal case. Also, the department has to give around Rs 100 crore as interest.
When asked, Rajesh Menon, secretary general of Income Tax Gazetted Officers' Association that is representing the protesting officials, said, The agitation was revived because assurances given by the board were empty and nothing happened.