A slew of taxes were suggested by the income tax officers, on Sunday, April 26, belonging to the IRS Association to tackle Covid-19 pandemic. Their report said that the super-rich could pay a wealth tax and 4 per cent Covid-19 relief cess can be applied on people coming in the medium to high salary bracket.
The report however could not manage to break the ice with the Centre and it has dismissed the report that recommended a tax hike to shore up Central revenues to diminish the economic impact of coronavirus pandemic outbreak.
'Act of indiscipline and violation of conduct rules'
Finance Ministry officials stated that the Govt called it 'highly irresponsible' adding that disciplinary action will be initiated against the officers who were a part of the report. The Govt also stated that the report was an "unauthorised" recommendation given to the media.
A note was shared on Twitter by a leading business national daily's Assistant Editor, Arup Roychoudhury, and quoted Finance Ministry sources to call the report in question 'ill-conceived' and the release of the same 'an irresponsible act'.
The press note called it prima-facie an "act of indiscipline and violation of conduct rules", since officers cannot just reach out to the media with their personal views and opinions. According to sources from the Finance Ministry, the Govt never asked the IRS Association nor any group of officers mentioned in the said report, to give any report on the stated subject. In fact, they were not supposed to prepare such a report.
Disciplinary action against these officers has been initiated
Referring to the report, the Fin Min sources said, "An ill-conceived report named as 'FORCE' put up by a group of officers through IRS Association giving suggestions on increasing the taxes, etc., in the difficult time of COVID-19 pandemic and releasing the same in the media through IRS Association's twitter and website is 'an irresponsible act' of few officers."
The officers had claimed that the recommendations they made are part of a road map on revenue mobilization and economic momentum to tackle the ongoing pandemic and it was titled "Fiscal Options & Response to Covid-19 Epidemic (FORCE). The government has now sought an explanation from the officers involved in making the report. Disciplinary action against these officers has been initiated, sources added.