Three years after setting up of the office of Income Tax Ombudsman for taxpayers to address grievances against the IT department, the government is yet to find enough suitable persons to fill up the posts which are lying vacant across the country.
The Department of Revenue, which looks after the appointment of Ombudsman, has been asking for more representations from the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) after the names recommended by it did not qualify as they had retired by the time their names came in for considerations.
The office of the I-T Ombudsman has been designated to 12 Indian cities -- New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Pune, Kanpur, Chandigarh, Bhopal and Kochi -- to look into public grievances and facilitate settlement of tax-related complaints.
"The primary reason for non-availability of officers from the I-T department to these posts is unwillingness on part of the officers. The Ombudsman is not considered a powerful post as the authority derives its powers from a set of separate guidelines and not the I-T Act," a senior Revenue department officer said.
The Revenue department has recently cleared names of five senior I-T officers to take charge of the posts at New Delhi, Ahmedabad, Kanpur, Mumbai and Banglaore, the vacancies of which had been anticipated since early 2008.