28/07/2016 8:45 PM IST | Updated 29/07/2016 11:57 AM IST

Some Senior Income Tax Officials Are Upset About Govt's 'Micro-management'

Finance Ministry calls it 'insubordination'

Rupak De Chowdhuri / Reuters

A number of senior income tax officials are apparently not happy with the Department of Revenue and its directives, and believe "micromanagement" and DOR's alleged interference with operations is hurting the morale of income tax officials.

Last week, a number of senior income tax officials held an emergency meeting in Mumbai to discuss DoR's alleged interference in "operational matters," ET reported.

According to the ET report, which cited two persons who attended the meeting, the Revenue Department has been allegedly undermining the autonomy of the Central Board of Direct Taxes, the top most body for direct taxes.

The meeting was organised after an income tax officer received a transfer order following an advance tax notice sent to a large bank, according to the report.

On Thursday, Finance Ministry issued a strongly worded statement terming the matter an "insubordination" and warned of disciplinary action.

The ministry said: "Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has taken a serious view of such a resolution by officers of organised Group 'A' service to advise the government on what role it should play.

"This is an act of insubordination. Officers indulging in acts of indiscipline would be subject to conduct rules."

The statement added the ministry learnt of the resolution passed by some officers of Indian Revenue Service Mumbai Branch against the Department of Revenue through media reports.

"No department of the Government has absolute autonomy. It has to serve the larger goal of the Government. The supervisory powers of next higher authority ensures that there is no misuse of power by anyone in the government," it said.

One of the officials who attended the Mumbai meeting told ET, "We are raising a larger issue that the CBDT is not subordinate to DoR. Countries like Brazil and Canada have given a fair degree of autonomy to their respective tax offices. If there is excessive centralisation of power, it would demotivate the staff down the line. We, the members of Indian Revenue Service, strongly feel that the CBDT should resist any interference into individual cases and day to day activities," said the person.

The apparent dissatisfaction among income tax officials comes at a time when Indian government is attempting to press the recovery of black money and crack down on tax evaders.

With PTI inputs