Finance ministry sacks 22 more CBIC officials on corruption charges

 (Photo: Mint)

New Delhi: Continuing its crackdown on corruption, the finance ministry has forced another 22 senior Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) officials, facing corruption charges, to retire, sources said.

In June, 12 officers from Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and 15 officials from CBIC faced similar fate and were compulsorily retired under Fundamental Rule 56(J) of Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT). According to the rule, the appropriate authority has the absolute right to retire any government servant by giving at least three months’ notice in writing or three months’ pay and allowances.

These steps are in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance’s attempt to project itself as government that fights corruption and takes tough stand against it.

In an interview to a business daily, Modi had recently said “some black sheep in the tax administration may have misused their powers and harassed taxpayers, either by targeting honest assesses or by taking excessive action for minor or procedural violations. We have recently taken the bold step of compulsorily retiring a significant number of tax officials, and we will not tolerate this type of behavior”.

Echoing similar view, finance minister Nirmala Sitharman on Friday said companies will not face any harassment by tax officials and reiterated that the intention of the government is not to take the prosecution route. Besides, a new system has been set up that will make government officials accountable for their communication with the assessee.