With Swift Administrative Clean-Up, PM Modi Hints At Zero Tolerance Policy Towards Corruption, Upcoming Major Reforms

PM Modi (center), Rajnath Singh (left) and Amit Shah (right) at a function in New Delhi. (PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images)

Indicating that it will continue its fight against corruption, black money, tax evasions and related frauds, the Modi 2.0 government has hinted at a major crackdown, reports Economic Times.

Recently on 10 June, the finance ministry took action against 12 senior, high-ranked income-tax officers on charges of corruption and professional misconduct. The government followed it up with another round of clean-up a week later when 15 senior income tax officials were given compulsory retirement hey were found to be 'chronically ineffectual'. The action happened within a fortnight of Modi government swearing-in for the second term.

“I am pretty sure this is happening. We are going to see a major tax crackdown, especially on GST, and to some extent, on the direct taxes as well,” said Saurabh Mukherjea, a market veteran.

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“The first interesting thing I am seeing over the past two-three weeks is regular news flow about senior tax officials being asked to retire or leave. This is suggestive of a major crackdown, and I had anticipated this before the election,” added Mukherjea.

The officers at various ranks near and at commissioner level were allegedly extorting businessmen, or had acquired mammoth movable and immovable assets in the name of self and family members. Their retirement was ordered under Rule 56 (j) of the General Financial Rules of Central Government Services.

ET, in its editorial commentary, said that by invoking a rule that was hardly used previously, the Centre has sent down a stern warning to tax officials of its zero tolerance towards corruption.

Providing for lateral entry of domain experts into the bureaucracy through a major policy change in its first term, the government hired nine joint secretary-ranked officials from the private sector, hinting at moving away from a generalist bureaucracy.

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