Business Bureau :
In Central GST Department, Nagpur Zone, the sanctioned strength is 1,492 and working staff 877, resulting in 615 vacant posts
PAUCITY of staff in the Central GST Department, Nagpur is putting huge pressure and affecting the efficient working of the department. According to the data provided by Directorate General of Human Resource Development (DGHRD), Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs, in the country, the total sanctioned strength in the department was 91,700 posts against the present strength of only 49,454 posts as on July 1, 2020 resulting into deficiency of 42,246 posts. In Central GST Department, Nagpur Zone, the sanctioned strength is 1,492. However, the working staff is 877 post creating a gap of 615 posts.
Similarly, in Mumbai Zone, the sanctioned strength is 5,773 and working staff is 3,082, where vacancies are 2,691. It is the same at Pune Zone, with sanctioned strength of 2,069 and working 1,200 staff, leaving a vacuum of 869 posts as on July 1, 2020. Similarly, Customs Department in Maharashtra is confronting the same difficulties as being faced by Mumbai-I, Mumbai-II, Mumbai-III, Pune and Nagpur. In these zones, the total sanctioned strength is 8,507 against the present strength of 4,231 posts, resulting into unfilled vacancies of 4,276 posts. Taking serious cognizance of the issue, Sanjay Thul, President of All India Federation of Customs, Central Excise and GST SC/ ST Employees Welfare Organisation, Nagpur, has dashed off a letter to the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman requesting to fill up the large number of posts lying vacant in the department. According to Thul, the Central Government had introduced the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in 2017.
At that time, the sanctioned work force in the department was 91,755 against the sanctioned strength of 54,791. Of them, 36,964 posts were lying vacant. Despite introduction of GST, there is no control on tax evasion because of shortage of workforce. “The cases of tax evasion are rising day by day. Many cases of fake invoices have been detected by the GST officers. However, the present workforce is insufficient to conduct the speedy investigation of cases and bring the tax evasion under control,” he pointed out. A large number of arrears are pending against the tax evaders, but the department is unable to recover the arrears due to lack of staff.
Tax evasion is making rich people more richer and poor more poorer. The tax evasion is increasing the economical inequality as the money of tax evasion are going from the pocket of crores of tax payers to the few thousand tax evaders, Thul said. According to the latest report on inequality, 40 per cent of wealth of the country is in the hands of one per cent of the population. “Evasion of indirect tax playing major role behind this economic inequality,” he added. Therefore, Thul has requested the Finance Minister to fill up the 42,246 vacant posts to control the tax evasion and proper monitoring of revenue in the interest of the nation.