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Vacancies reduce CBDT to two-member body

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Even the Central Vigilance Commission is plagued by vacancies

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), a key player in the Narendra Modi government’s plans to track down black money stashed away abroad, is under tremendous pressure to meet deadlines despite senior positions being vacant.

The CBDT, a constituent of the Special Investigation Team on black money, comprises a Chairman and six members.

However, at present, the Board has five vacancies with only a Chairperson in Anita Kapur and Arun Kumar Jain as the lone member (revenue & vigilance).

It is learnt that the CBDT, which has 18 zones across the country under its jurisdiction, has had vacancies for some time now with five top positions lying vacant now.

As a result, the government issued an order on November 5 reallocating the zones between the CBDT Chairperson and the member.

With the approval of the competent authority and in supersession of the existing order, the government has given additional charge of member (legislation & computerisation), member (income-tax) and member (investigation) to the Chairman.

Mr. Jain has been given the additional charge of member (audit & judicial), member (revenue & vigilance).

CBDT Chairman, lone member handle 18 zones

With the Central Board of Direct Taxes left with just the Chairman and one member, eight of its zones have been brought under the former and 10 others under the lone member.

Pointing out that the CBDT is an administrative body, former Finance Secretary and Revenue Secretary S. Narayan said: “In the interest of better supervision, the posts should be filled at the earliest.”

Similarly, Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi said all important bodies such as these must fill their vacancies well before the incumbents demit office.

“I am sure that the government will attend to this with promptitude.”

Anti-corruption watchdog Central Vigilance Commission is also facing a similar situation. However, a former CBI Director said filling up the posts now was only a matter of time, as the government recently initiated the process.

In fact, after Pradeep Kumar completed his tenure as the Central Vigilance Commissioner, there is now only one Vigilance Commissioner, Mr. Rajiv.

President Pranab Mukherjee recently authorised him to act as Central Vigilance Commissioner till a regular appointment to the post. The tenure of another Vigilance Commissioner, J.M. Garg, also ended about two months ago.

The Department of Personnel and Training had last month invited applications for the posts of Central Vigilance Commissioner and Vigilance Commissioner.

As per the amended conditions, an All-India Service or any Central services officer having knowledge and experience in the area of vigilance, policy making and administration, including police administration, can apply.

Those with expertise and experience in finance, including insurance and banking, law, vigilance and investigations, are also eligible.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 10:41:11 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/vacancies-reduce-cbdt-to-twomember-body/article6578792.ece

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