The Gujarat Income-Tax Department office is a busy place these days. Before 2022 ends in two days’ time, more than 200 Income-Tax officers in Gujarat will be promoted. The promotions will happen after a gap of five years, the last of which were notified in 2017.
A full-scale revolt rocked the department in September when dozens of officials protested the “anti-employee policies” of Principal Chief Commissioner of Income-Tax (PrCCIT) Ravindra Kumar. The lack of promotions for the past several years was the main bone of contention. Income-Tax officers from Surat, Anand, Rajkot, Vadodara and other centres had actively participated in the agitation and lined up in front of Kumar’s office at Aayakar Bhavan in Ahmedabad every week.
Read about the protest here: https://www.vibesofindia.com/gujarat-income-tax-officers-protest-anti-employee-policies-of-their-own-boss-ravindra-kumar-the-latters-team-member-says-genuine-demands-will-be-addressed/)
Kumar retired from service on November 30 and just before his retirement, he had promised to bring every resentment to an end. He proved to be a man of his word as he did solve the grievances of the I-T officials.
K Madhusudan, general secretary of the Income-Tax Employees Federation said, “Just before Kumar sir’s retirement he solved the matter of promotions and we didn’t have to protest. The department is elated about this positive decision.”
There was another grievance – from the Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) officials – who were upset over pending dues. The Gujarat I-T Department has 600 SC/ST officials (400 SC and 200 ST officials).
In September 2022, Baba Saheb Bhosle, general secretary of the Income-Tax SC/ST Employees Welfare Federation (ITSEWA), New Delhi, told Vibes of India about the unfair practices of Gujarat Income-Tax towards its SC/ST employees. “Despite the government of India’s written instructions in 2008, the Gujarat Income-Tax does not have an SC/ST cell, but it has a well-equipped sports cell. In India, Gujarat is one of the few states which has not adhered to GoI’s instructions. Maharashtra and New Delhi have had an SC/ST cell for years.”
Ravindra Kumar even addressed their issues before he retired. Kumar, a 1986 batch IRS officer, was appointed as the Principal Chief Commissioner of Income-Tax in Gujarat in July 2021. He was earlier posted as PrCCIT, Kerala. He had a stint in Gujarat along with Punjab, Bihar, Odisha, and Maharashtra in different capacities.Currently, senior IRS officer Harinder Bir Singh Gill is given additional charge as Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, Gujarat. The department is yet to have a full-time boss. Till then, the officials are executing the decisions Kumar took just before retiring from the service.