Finance Ministry warns tax officials of disciplinary action against GST protest

14 Oct , 2016 , 04:45 PM
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley (Source: Getty Images)
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley (Source: Getty Images)

In the run-up to GST rollout, the finance ministry has warned tax officials of disciplinary action if they go ahead with planned protests, including taking mass casual leave, on the budget day.

The All India Association of Central Excise GazettedExecutive Officers is opposed to any assessee of excise andservice tax being moved to states in the new GST regime andhas given notice for protest that includes lunch hour dharnasand mass casual leave on the budget day.

The revenue department on October 10 issued an orderasking officials not to go on any protest and cited servicerules that bar such action.
"GST is a major tax reform. All decisions will be takenby the GST Council, keeping in mind the interest of allconcerned - the tax payer and officers.

Against thisbackground, you are advised to refrain from proposed course ofaction," it said.    The order cited service rules that do not permit participation in demonstrations and strikes. The service rules attached with the order stated that"disciplinary action should be taken against the prominentparticipants in the 'gherao' by striking officers, andabsence from work on account of participation in such aprotest should be treated as "unauthorised absence involvingbreak in service".   

"The absence should not be regularised as leave of anykind," the service rules said.    

Rule 7 cited in the order states that no governmentservice shall "engage himself or participate in anydemonstration which is prejudicial to the interests of thesovereignty and integrity of India, the security of thestate..."     

The association plans to hold lunch hour dharnas onNovember 9, wearing black badge in office on December 7,day-long protest on January 5 and mass casual leave on budgetday by all officers.

In its memorandum to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, theassociation said the Central Board of Excise and Customs(CBEC) and its officers and employees have experience andexpertise of more than 70 years in handling excise and servicetax "which is missing with state officers".

It wanted that "none of the assessees of central excise(to be levied CGST on supply of goods) and service tax (tobe levied CGST on supply of services) should be transfered tostates for the purpose of levy and collection of CGST by theofficers of states".

"All central excise and service tax assessees fallingabove the annual turnover of Rs 20 lakh should necessarily becontrolled by the Centre and its officers only. No need to saywe require a strong and powerful Centre in our federalsystem," it added.

It wants CBEC and its officers only to collect C-GST and I-GST. "State government officials should be allowed to collect only SGST on intra-state supply of goods and services," the body proposed. 

First Published: Friday, October 14, 2016 04:36 PM

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