Govt to unfold scrapping policy for automobiles sooner: FMFM announces change in auto policy - BS-IV vehicles registered prior to March 31, 2020 to be allowed full shelf life + Addl 15% Depreciation to be allowed till March 2020 + Ban on purchase of new cars replacing old vehicles by Govt Departments liftedGovt working on solutions for home buyers and real estate promoters stuck with fund problemsFM says tax officials to be instructed not to overreach taxpayers to meet targetsNBFCs to be allowed to use Aadhar-authenticated KYC of banks: FMGovt to amend MSME Act to give ONE definition for MSME; Cabinet approval to be taken soonBank loans - Online tracking option to be given to customers for ease of knowing status + Banks to introduce one time loan settlement policyGovt decides to withdraw Surcharge on capital gains made by FPIs + Surcharge on domestic investors also guillotinedFM says All notices, including summons, by Income Tax Department to be centralised & computer-generated from October 2019 + Old notices to be either clears before Oct or to be re-generated with DIN + all notices to be cleared within 3 monthsGST - Amritsar CGST holds Annual Return Mela with practitionersSC grants relief to Chidambaram in ED case till Monday but no succour in CBI casePradhan to launch commencement of work ceremony for 10th CGD Bidding Round (See 'TOG News')TP - Company engaged in manufacturing, assembling, servicing & software cannot be held as good comparable to trading segment: ITAT (See 'TOG Latest')I-T - Where 71% of the receipts of a trust are used in furtherance of its stated objectives the same is sufficient to infer that such trust exists: HC (See 'TOG Latest')Customs - Where assessee requests for speaking order & pays duty under protest, it cannot be inferred that assessee accepted enhanced value: CESTAT (See 'TOG Latest')Central Excise - Where assessee harbored bona fide belief in respect of an issue due to conflicting precedent judgments, then extended limitation cannot be invoked: HC (See 'TOG Latest')Sabka Vishwas Legacy Dispute Resolution Scheme to be effective from Sept 01 (See 'TOG News')TP - Similarity of functions/characteristic of services rendered by comparables are indispensable for their selection for purposes of benchmarking: ITAT (See 'TOG Latest')I-T - Holding more than 20% shares in two companies is in itself insufficient to infer that loan given by one company to the other is commercial transaction: HC (See 'TOG Latest')Central Excise - Clean Energy Cess bears nature of fee & is not any duty; hence assessee is not entitled to Cenvat credit on the same: CESTAT (See 'TOG Latest')Service Tax - If assessee claims refund in bona fide before wrong authority, then reasonable course of action is to transfer such claim to that authority having jurisdiction: CESTAT (See 'TOG Latest')EPF Board to move proposal for amend scheme (See 'TOG News')Naidu urges nations to adopt Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (See 'TOG News')
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EDITOR's KEYBOARD - FROM ARCHIVE

Revenue Boards' tax administration cares only for 'India', not 'Bharat'!
By Shailendra Kumar, Founder Editor (Dated: June 03, 2010)
Aug 12, 2019

EVEN as both the Revenue Boards - the CBEC and the CBDT, gear up for their legislative tryst with the proposed GST and the DTC respectively, by April 1, 2011, their respective 'house' appears to be crying for major 'administrative repair job'! Thanks to the global economic meltdown, most forward-looking economies have strengthened and tightened their tax administration against tax evasion and also the instances of parking funds in tax havens. But India does not seem to have taken any cue from them except accepting lists of Indian names who are suspected to have availed the 'connoisseur financial services' of tax havens. The Indian tax administration of both the Revenue Boards simply does not inspire enough confidence or indicate any preparedness to handle the mammoth tasks awaiting them next fiscal.

Like in previous years both the Revenue Boards have been bracing up for their Chief Commissioners' conference to be held next week for the CBDT, and next to next week for the CBEC. True, a lot of issues are going to be pondered over but most of them are likely to be mundane and stereotyped in their substance as well as the form. TIOL believes that none of the Boards is likely to focus on the surgical changes required in the vital components of tax administration. Why? There does not seem to be a mandate for vital issues like revamping the administration. The CCs' conferences begin with Revenue targets and end with 'Revenue Strategies'! What is often found amiss is the deliberation on administrative mechanism.

Let's pan our eyeballs from the Board-level to the cutting-edge level. Both the Boards have now six sanctioned posts of Members besides the Chairman. But the ground realities are that forward-planning to fill up these posts often gives a slip to our planners. The CBDT is without a Member (P&V) today. Its last incumbent retired without issuing the CITs' AGT order (we will talk about it later). At present two posts are vacant in the CBDT. In the case of CBEC, the charge of Member (P&V) has gone to the person who is already saddled with four burdensome charges. How much time will the filling up exercise take has become a subject of speculation.

Let's now go down to the Chief Commissioners' level. There are more than 25 vacancies of CCITs in the CBDT. The state of affairs is not very encouraging even in the CBEC either which seems to be running its entire empire on the plank of additional charge. Interestingly, the chemistry and the dynamics of doctrine of additional charge works so intriguingly that it is difficult to understand how an officer would manage two distant locations like Mysore and Coimbatore or Bhopal and Hyderabad. The fact of the matter is that all the posts in metros like Delhi have been filled up but distant posts of executive nature have been left to be held as additional charge.

Going by the stay obtained by one of the officers on the operationalisation of the Seniority list, it is unlikely that the CBEC would be able to resolve the promotional issue in the foreseeable future. This stay is not only going to put to halt the promotion of Chief Commissioners but also the DPCs for other posts as the Seniority List cannot be put into operation. Similarly, there are dozens of CCITs' vacancies but the CBDT seems to have suffered from administrative haermorrhage - no initiative has been taken in the past few months to foresee the vacancies and conduct DPCs accordingly.

At the Commissioner-level, the state of affairs is not different even an iota. More than 30 vacancies exist in the CBEC. An ad hoc promotional attempt for a lot of 26 officers has hit against a wall called DoP&T which refuses to see the wood for the tree. For it, the rules are more sacrosanct than the larger goal of revenue for the exchequer. There are dozens of Commissioners who have been holding additional charge. Netizens may recall the recent incident of the DGCEI officers being attacked by a mob in Bhopal which is also an additional charge for the Commissioner, Raipur. There are similarly dozens of CIT-level vacancies in the CBDT. Many CIT(A) posts are vacant. The existing CITs holding addl charge have to clear hundreds of cases before they get time-barred. For the Dispute Resolution Panels (DRP), the CBDT has to keep notifying new names quite frequently.

A deeper analysis of the present transfer policy being followed by both the Boards may indicate that what is being cared for is only 'India' and not 'Bharat'! There appears to be, a probably unwittingly practised, divide between 'India' and 'Bharat'. Even as almost all the posts, including the insensitive and the sundry, are being filled up in the large cities of 'India', the key posts of 'Bharat' are being administered as additional charge. The divide or the taxonomy of cities broadly falling under the two categories of 'India' and 'Bharat' has become so intricately interesting that even a large city like Kolkata which used to be a part of 'India' has been relegated to the other category. One tellingly shocking feature of the 'Bharat' category is that no officer worth even a loose political clout, wants to be posted there. Thanks to industrialisation and rapid commercialisation, some of the cities which have achieved an element of 'Sanskritisation' (upward mobility as per the sociological theory propounded by noted sociologist M N Srinivas) are Ahmedabad, Pune, Chandigarh, Panchkula, Gurgaon and Noida. They have become premium places, and there are thousands of takers for them. But both Revenue Boards must realise that by filling up all posts in these cities alone, the Revenue targets set by the Finance Minister cannot be achieved. Even for the political leadership, it is important that due weightage must be given to fill up key posts like DG, DRI and executive posts in 'Bharat' not only to give politically correct signals to the officers but also for revenue mobilisation required for meeting the social targets being tom-tomed by the UPA-II. Will the Finance Minister wake up and live up to the size of the tasks designed by him for an efficient and trade-facilitating tax administration in the near future? The answer to this question lies only in the womb of the policy moves which are to be closely watched by all Netizens.