Income tax (I-T) officials agitating against delays in promotions have caused the I-T department in the city a notional loss of Rs175 crore since Monday. With field officers refusing to conduct searches and surveys, the loss at national level has run up to Rs560 crore.
The officers have been protesting against pending promotions of income tax officer (ITO) to the level of assistant commissioner of income tax (ACIT)/deputy commissioner of income tax (DCIT).
In Mumbai, 80 promotions are pending at these levels, while over 400 promotions are overdue at the all-India level. The officers claim that these have been overdue for two years.
What is the reason for this delay? "Because of varying orders by different judicial bodies across the country, the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), which is the nodal body for group A promotions, is unable to allow these promotions," a senior I-T official said.
The ACIT/DCIT level falls under group A. Sources in the department said that the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), the apex body of I-T department, has agreed to grant ad-hoc promotions, as demanded by the protestors.
Agitating I-T officials seemed to be comfortable with the solution, but insisted that the promotions be cleared immediately.
"We would be satisfied even if the board gives ad-hoc promotions. But these should be given before December 31, as people are retiring every month and losing on promotions," said Rajesh Menon, secretary general of Income Tax Gazetted Officers' Association.
He added that the agitation would end only after the board approves the promotions. Menon said that the backlog of pending promotions is having a cascading effect and nearly 2,000 promotions at various lower levels have been held up.
Meanwhile, for every day wasted, the department in the city continues to lose Rs25crore in the city and Rs80 crore across the country.