Money decides transfers and postings in customs, central excise depts

New Delhi: There is huge corruption in transfers and posting, largely at superintendent and inspector level, in the departments under Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), apex policy making body for indirect taxes.

Former CBEC Chairman Late B P Verma was  arrested by CBI on April 2, 2001.
Former CBEC Chairman Late B P Verma was arrested by CBI on April 2, 2001.

The senior IRS officers have nurtured such type of corrupt practices and it has gained alarming proportions after CBI arrest former CBEC Chairman B P Verma in 2001 on charges of bribery, corruption, possessing assets beyond known sources of his income.

Senior IRS officers takes money for transferring Superintendents and Inspectors of customs, central excise and service tax department under CBEC through middleman.

Superintendents and inspectors pay money to middlemen to secure transfers to preferred locations, i.e, sensitive postings like LCS (Land Customs Station), ICD (Inland Container Depot), Preventive, Range, Sector and Audit.

A sensitive post means, any position within the department whose occupant could cause adverse effect to the integrity and functioning of the department by virtue of the nature of his/her responsibility but in central Excise, customs and service tax departments sensitive postings mean, post to earn money (bribe).

A superintendent has to pay Rs 10-2 lakh for sensitive posting, depending on bribe earning position of the posting place, inspector has to pay Rs 8-1.5 lakh for same position,” said an official, who asked not to be identified.

“A clerk to a former customs commissioner in Lucknow, was a prominent collection agent. Anybody who gave money to that agent got the posting of his choice,” the official also said.

The role of that clerk is being played by the superintendents, junior IRS officers of the departments across the India.

In these departments, it is sure that officers don’t follow race, creed or religion but they only follow money (bribe).

The bribe has destroyed the basic fabric of the administration in customs, central excise and service tax departments, because officials get into a position by bribing and also stay there by bribing not for their integrity and knowledge. There is money in postings, transfers and stopping transfers.

“Only the level varies depending on the capacity of senior IRS officers to demand and superintendents/inspectors to pay. When an official pays money to get posting, his or her effort is focused only on collecting more and more bribe from the public,” said the official, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to discuss the matter.

“Money officials seem to be benefitting from bribe in transfers and postings in customs, central excise and service tax departments,” he added.

“Since those senior IRS officers sitting at the postings decision-making, take money, officials below also get money 100 times of giving money for posting through million times of revenue evasion,” the official revealed about revenue evasion.

The business of transfers and postings will start in this month in the departments under CBEC, money giving-taking process has been initiated.

The Finance Minister Arun Jaitley should take stringent action against such type of the business to curb corruption and to fellow Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s policy ‘zero tolerance’ against corruption.