Short-staffed, government struggling to fill vacancies in CBDT and CBIC
June, 20th 2020
Struggling to meet the high revenue collection targets, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) are struggling to fill top level vacancies, which delays policy making and decision taking power of the boards.
Both the boards, designed to have six members and a chairman, have been working on minimum capacity, in the past few years. CBDT has two vacancies and CBIC has four vacancies currently and these are expected to be more over the next two-three months, with members superannuating.
Currently, CBDT has a chairman – PC Mody, who is set to retire on August 31, 2020. He was earlier to retire on August 31, 2019, but was given one year extension. If Mody does not get an extension, then the senior most member with a minimum tenure of six months would be appointed as the chairman.
Amongst the other members, the position of Member (Investigation) is vacant since 2018 and the chairman is holding this position as an additional charge. Also, the position of Member (Income Tax & Revenue) is vacant since May, which is currently with member SK Gupta as an additional charge. Gupta’s original charge is Member (TPS & System) and he is set to retire in July, which would mean two more vacancies in July to go vacant again.
On the other hand, in CBIC, they have a chairman Ajit Kumar, who was recently appointed and took charge from February, 2020. Due to pending vacancies, he is currently also holding additional charges of Member (Admin & Vigilance) and of member (Tax Policy).
There are two more members in CBIC, AK Pandey and Sandeep Mohan Bhatnagar, who are set to retire in July and August respectively. Pandey is holding two charges and Bhatnagar is holding three charges to ease the burden due to pending vacancies.
Ashok Kumar Pandey is holding two charges of member (GST, Central Excise and Service Tax) and Member (Legal & Vigilance) and Sandeep Mohan Bhatnagar is holding charge of member (Investigation) and member (IT & Tax Payer Services) and of member (Customs).