Zero Tolerance For Malpractice And Corruption In Tax Dept: Revenue Secretary

The Revenue Secretary has issued an Office Memorandum dated 22.01.2013 in which he has expressed concern over the searches/ investigations conducted by the Anti-Corruption branch of the CBI on the officers of the CBDT & CBEC and the complaints alleging misconduct by the officers in their official conduct of duties. He has stated that such incidents erode the confidence of the taxpaying community and the public and should be avoided. The Revenue Secretary has emphasized that there should be “Zero tolerance towards malpractices and corruption” and that senior officers should lead by example. Some suggestions have been given on how to achieve this salutary goal.

Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Revenue
(Vigilance Cell, North Block)
New Delhi
Dated: January 22, 2013


Subject: Instruction regarding Preventive Vigilance

In the recent past, instances of some officers of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) being subjected to searches/investigations by Anti-Corruption Branch of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) have been reported. Some complaints alleging misconduct, misdemeanor exhibited by Officers in their official conduct/duties have also been received.

2. Incidents of this nature have the potential of eroding the confidence of the taxpaying community and public at large in the Department. I appreciate that misconduct of this nature is limited to only a few misguided officials. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the Department to act firmly and swiftly against such officers.

3. It is needless to emphasize that the Government Servants are expected to discharge their official functions with utmost devotion and integrity. The Government has laid down elaborate dos and don’ts governed by the Conduct Rules and it is expected that all officers abide by them scrupulously.

4. The Vigilance Wings or both the Boards have the prime responsibility to expeditiously conclude disciplinary proceedings in the case(s) of charged officers. While the innocent must be protected, those found indulging in gross misconduct must be subjected to strict punitive action as per extant rules/instructions expeditiously.

5. Preventive Vigilance is critical for any organization. Senior officers must regularly inspect the work of their subordinates. Periodical meetings with Taxpayers, Tax Bar, Chartered Accountants Association, Trade Associations etc. will serve as a good feed back mechanism. Personal counseling, especially of the younger officers is also a mode of correcting instances of inadvertent infringement of Conduct Rules etc.

6. The general reputation of an officer is also an important input for the Administration before taking view about transfers/postings. The Administration Division in CBDT and CBEC and the field formations must be sensitized about the criticality of rotation of officers between sensitive and non-sensitive assignments. Besides facilitating exposure to all areas of work, this also prevents the possibility of officers developing any vested interest which in turn adversely impacts objective official functioning.

7. Our work environment must maintain Zero Tolerance towards malpractices and corruption. An onerous responsibility is cast on the Senior Officers to lead by example. It is expected that all the vulnerable areas will be secured effectively to eliminate any possible misuse, exploitation or unintended abuse. Not only is personal integrity necessary, it is incumbent upon the supervisory cadre to promote good and ethical behavior in their subordinate officers.

8. The CBDT and CBEC being the most important revenue garnering agencies of the Central Government, the revenue mobilization endeavour must be premised on the Departmental personnel exhibiting complete objectivity, integrity and sincerity in their conduct.

9. The Chief Commissioners/Directors General are advised to sensitise the field formations suitably and reiterate the Government’s resolve to provide a tax administration that is free of corruption, bias or favouritism.

(Sumit Bose)
Secretary to the Government of India

9 comments on “Zero Tolerance For Malpractice And Corruption In Tax Dept: Revenue Secretary
  1. Uday Gupta says:

    It next to impossible that Income Tax department corruption free. There is one method adopted by corrupt officers keep weight on file and wait for indefinite time. according to some Joint commissioner Income tax nobody tell me that do this work first or last. I am overloaded. It totally depend on me when I take action on it. I am facing the same problem in Range 49(1) TDS and Circle 32(10 DELHI since last 4 years and moving pillar to post but no action has been taken till now. I hope that government is changed there may be some change in Income tax department but same nothing change. Only god can save this country……….

    • g.solition says:

      sir here a huge nexas work in sale tax jammu & kashmir trough railway govt officer are doing all that with t help of agents so pls help me sir my nu is 9013346126

  2. Mr. Sumit Bose.
    u r right.

    i came across a case. Assessee filed a ROI for AY 2008-09, Assesse filed his return on 03.12.2008, AO issues sec 143 Notice on 31.08.2010 say over 12+ months pf ROI filing, indeed bad in law as AO has no jurisdiction, tax payer appealed to CIT(A) but CIT (A) still confirms by misreading Acts besides allowed bad in law jurisdiction…what it shows on your departmental officers please!

  3. Right sir. U/s 166 r/w 167 IPC public servant misses his powers may be punished if the victim files FIR, so pls inform your officers to take extra care when the issue notices u/s 144 r/w 143(2) n 142(1) when the notice is issued beyond 12 months of furnishing returns of income,that means if one crosses limitation they may face heat of criminal law too unfortunately as public servants cannot misuse rule of law!

  4. N k SHETH says:

    Revenue Secretary Sir,

    I respectfully disagree with you when you say that only few misguided officers are corrupt (Do you really say this from your heart or saying because it is politically correct?) Corruption in Tax Departments have spread like an epidemic affecting public at large.

    I am sure your good office is aware of our Nation’s Ranking in the list of corrupt nations compiled by Reputed International Organisation . As an ordinary citizen of this Country, I am ashmed when I see my Nation having ranking worse than Bangladesh and Pakistan. Whether persons at a helm of affairs are really ashamed of this? If it was so. Nation would not have come to this stage.

    Sir, it is a time to act (in real sense) and not write such interoffice memorandum/circular which may be read like a Comic Article by people to whom you have addressed this nicely and politically correct circular. The anguish or concern for erradication of corruption is not visible in the said Circular.

    When law making process and accountability of civil Servants is like a gutter, Mosquitos of corruption will breed. Stop making unfair and arbitatory laws, stop giving unrestricted/unchecked powers to Civil Servants and please teach your officers to respect Judiciary system. One more radical suggestion, kindly make corruption a Criminal(Non Bailable) offence culminating into capital punishment. Only this can save the Nation.

    Jai Hind.

  5. ANAND P says:

    The revenue secretary must be joking. It is only top officials who are supporting corruption. Any number of such circulars will not help reduce corruption even by 1%. It only enhances. Our mind, soul, heart and all parts are corrupted. Our hands are most corrupt.

  6. psychological terrorizing is a key used by several unscrupulous officers though they are very less in number but after all a rotten apple in a basket of apples what they achieve?

  7. circular is timely to augment integrity in officers.

  8. j says:

    putting on paper is very easy, unless it is followed in practice, any amount of such memorandums will not help.

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