Last week a group of 50 Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officers of the Income Tax Department prepared a report called FORCE (Fiscal Options & Response to Covid-19 Epidemic) and suggested hiking the tax by 40% on the super-rich strata of the society.
Replying to the report the CBDT denied that it had ever sought a report from the Association or any other officers, and said it would order an inquiry into the issue. The government initiated its action against three senior Indian Revenue Service officers who encouraged their junior officers to prepare the report.
Officers against whom action has been initiated by the tax department include Prashant Bhushan, General Secretary of IRS Association; Prakash Dubey, Director, Department Of Personnel and Training, and Joint Secretary, IRS Association; and Sanjay Bahadur, a 1989 batch IRS officer.
Government sources further said that these senior officers, despite having more than 30 years of service, failed to exercise due care and went on to misguide 50 young officers.
However, the government looked into the considerations given in FORCE but instead of sending the recommendations to the government through an official channel, these Principal Commissioner-rank officials misguided their juniors and went public with the report, which created panic and tax policy uncertainty among people.