Gujarat Income Tax was recently in news for its “anti-employees” policies. Up next, it is alleged that Gujarat I-T has the intention and funds to develop its sports cells but takes little consideration of its Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) officials. Gujarat I-T headed by Principal Chief Commissioner of Gujarat Ravindra Kumar has 600 SC/ST officials–400 SC and 200 ST.
Baba Saheb Bhosle, General Secretary of 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 since 2008, Gujarat Income tax does not have an SC/ST cell–but it does have 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.” (official circular is attached below)
Kirit Solanki, MP Ahmedabad (West) and chairman of the parliamentary committee on Welfare of SC/ST has also emphasised on this, saying “I propose to the Gujarat Income department to organise a monthly meeting with SC/ST members–even if the members just talk over tea. This will lead to the resolution of negligible problems before it reaches the Central department. I request PrCCIT, Gujarat to also have the minutes of the meeting that can be later submitted to the Central Department. Secondly, the DoPT should also look into the transfers and promotions of SC/ST members–something which has been on halt for a long time.” Solanki also reassured that the questions raised by ITSEWA, New Delhi will be resolved.
On these allegations, Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, Gujarat Ravindra Kumar said “ITSEWA has never come to me with grievances, or else, I would have definitely solved it. For us, everyone, including the ITSEWA members are treated equally. There is no discrimination. As of now, SC/ST cells are not developed as we have space constraints. Required furniture will also be provided in ITSEWA office in Aaykar Bhavan. SC/ST members are no less than any other I-T officer. I have never underestimated their efficiency in work. This year we have done several Compassionate Appointments which were due from the past few years. This was to uplift the morale of our employees.”
Compassionate Appointment under Central Government Scheme is to grant appointment on compassionate grounds to a dependent family member of a Government servant dying in harness or who is retired on medical grounds.
“There is no dearth of funds, but of right intention. Promotions of SC/ST officials are at a halt. There is no place for them to present their grievances. Gujarat I-T has just appointed one liaisoning officer for SC/ST but how can a single officer work without resources such as supporting staff, a car, furniture or data?” asks Bhosle.
On behalf of SC/ST employees of Gujarat, Bhosle demanded an SC/ST cell in the Vejalpur I-T office in Ahmedabad. The brand new Income Tax office has a sports and recreational cell. He said, “We wanted to be treated at par with Income Tax Gazetted Officers’ Association (ITGOA) and Income Tax Employees’ Federation (ITEF) members. There needs to be a change of mindset. Top officials think ki SC/ST cell ki zarurat kya hain? They fail to understand the struggles and importance of our community.“
In September, 2019 Several Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) employees alleged discrimination by the Income Tax Department in Gujarat, especially with respect to the annual general transfer and postings of employees from various grades. A common issue that was raised by officials was the rampant discrimination many of SC and ST employees face, especially when posted in the Saurashtra region.
Also read: 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/