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Cabinet may recommend new norm for appointment of CBEC, CBDT chiefs
June, 02nd 2011

The Union Cabinet is likely to recommend merit-cum-seniority as the basis for appointment of chairmen of two revenue boards in the finance ministry Central Board of Excise and Customs and Central Board of Direct Taxes at its meeting on Thursday.

This would reverse a 2008 order of the government which said that to be eligible for the post of chairman, a member of either of the revenue boards had to have a minimum of one year's service left. This had led to many officers missing out as they had just 11 months service left.

To remove this anomaly, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee had set up a one-man committee comprising former revenue secretary P G Mankad in January 2010 to review the selection process and suggest changes in the service rules. The two boards, CBDT and CBEC, function under the revenue department of the finance ministry.

The government has, however, not accepted another key recommendation of the Mankad committee that once the seniormost member is appointed chairman, he should be given a fixed tenure of one year.

The change, once accepted, will regularise the appointment of Prakash Chandra, who was on Wednesday named chairman of CBDT, as also Sumit Dutt Majumdar, who has been acting as the chairman of CBEC since November 2010.

The two important revenue offices control the Income Tax investigation, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), all Customs, excise and service tax intelligence agencies and the Central Economic Intelligence Bureau.

Investigative agencies under the revenue department are currently handling some of the most politically sensitive cases, including the 2G spectrum scam, Commonwealth Games scam, the role of politicians in IPL franchisees, besides disproportionate assets of many senior present and former bureaucrats.

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