The Income Tax Department in Gujarat, which is one of the top six states in India in terms of direct tax collection in the country, currently has five vacancies in senior management positions in Rajkot. The posts of Chief Commissioner of Income Tax (CCIT), three posts for Chief Commissioner Appeals and one post of Income Tax Commissioner have been vacant for almost a year. On Nov 24, IRS Banwari Lal Meena was appointed as CCIT, Rajkot but he is yet to resume the office.
“If 10 officers are appointed for Gujarat, most would prefer Ahmedabad, Surat or Vadodara instead of Rajkot and Jamnagar. The whole senior management is vacant in Rajkot. One reason why officers are avoiding Rajkot is due to a lack of connectivity to other metro cities. But we are yet to figure out the other reasons for major vacancies in the department.” said a source from the I-T department in Ahmedabad. The Income Tax Department in Rajkot is running on additional charges for over six months. There are a total of three positions of Commissioner of Income Tax in Rajkot, of which only one was filled, but that officer was transferred to Delhi.
“There is no one to supervise if the other officers are coming to office or not, whether they are working or not. There is no accountability, there is no one to oversee” he added.
“The morale in our offices is low. Along with the lack of permanent senior officers, the other problem is that there is no rest for the working ITOs, who often have to sit till late to complete additional work. We hope senior officers are given permanent postings in Rajkot as soon as possible,” he added.
Earlier, Ravindra Patel who was serving as CCIT-Rajkot, was transferred as CCIT-TDS on July 26. He retired from service on July 31. In the same order on July 26, Satinder Singh Rana was appointed CCIT-1 Ahmedabad and given additional charge of CCIT-Rajkot, a position which was already vacant. Rana was relieved from his Rajkot charge on November 24.
Are such vacancies common for the Income Tax Department in Rajkot? “In comparison to Ahmedabad, the vacancies in Rajkot were also high but the situation was never this worse. Rajkot is a business hub. There is a lot of scope for the Income Tax department but such is the sorry state.” The CCIT post has been vacant in Surat too since July. Two posts of CCIT are also vacant in Ahmedabad for the past six months.