State avoids embarrassment, gives in to sales tax officials' demands

The state government saved face yesterday after they held a meeting with sales tax officers by agreeing to a few of the demands the officials had made.

MiD DAY’s report on November 27

Tired and frustrated about being overworked, over 2,000 senior officers from the sales tax department were to work a whole day and night on December 12 Sharad Pawar’s birthday to register their protest and hope their demands were heard (Sales Tax officials to work nonstop for 24 hours on Dec 12 to protest staff shortage, November 27).

Taking serious view of the agitation, the government in a meeting with Sales Tax Commissioner Nitin Kareer submitted into a few demands made by the babus. Government authorities said that they had conceded in providing sales tax officers with vehicles so as to improve their efficiency. Additionally, an early clearance of transfer proposals of sales tax officers, which has been pending with Mantralaya for over a year, has been accepted. Secondly, 57 officers were promoted as deputy commissioners of sales tax and 181 sales tax inspectors were promoted as sales tax officers.

Confirming that the union had called off the strike, president of the union Dr Arun Birajdar and Secretary Mahesh Chandurkar said that after a prolonged discussion with the union, they had decided to call off the strike. Officials had believed that Pawar’s birthday would be a suitable day to register their protest, as the NCP supremo’s nephew Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, heads the department of finance that controls the sales tax affairs.

Demands made
Hire more staff, as the shortage forces them to scurry about to meet their targets
Pay sales tax officers on par as their colleagues of same rank in different departments
To exclude them from the regional cadre system, as they are engaged in revenue collection

Rs 65,000 cr
Amount collected by the sales tax department last year 

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