FM Nirmala Sitharaman
FM Nirmala Sitharaman
Photo: PTI

Hours after several Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officers batted for a wealth tax as high as 40 per cent for total income levels above a minimum threshold of Rs 1 crore, as well as a host of other measures, a media note that quotes Finance Ministry ‘sources’ has surfaced. This also urges people to "completely disregard" the recommendations.

The note was shared on Twitter by Business Standard's Assistant Editor, Arup Roychoudhury and quotes 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 are not supposed to go to the media with their personal views and opinions.

"Fin Min sources said that neither IRS Association nor any group of officers mentioned in the said report were ever asked by the Government to give any report on the subject. In fact, it was not even part of their duty to prepare such a report," the media note shared on Twitter adds.

It also adds that the CBDT's Chairman has been directed to seek an explanation from the officers who had put forward the suggestion.

For the uninitiated, IRS officers had written to the government, sharing tips on how to revive the economy amid the novel coronavirus outbreak and subsequent lockdown. In a policy paper-cum- recommendation titled "Fiscal Options and Response to COVID-19 Epidemic (FORCE)" presented to the PMO and Finace Ministry, they had suggested that the government needed to spend considerably more to revive the economy. They had said that that the Centre needed to raise additional revenue, but in ways that must not burden the already distressed common man.

Since then, the IRS Association too has distanced themselves from the paper.

Taking to Twitter on Sunday evening the body had clarified that this was not the "official views" of the department.

"The paper FORCE by 50 young IRS officers suggesting policy measures had been forwarded by IRSA to CBDT for consideration. It does not purport to represent the official views of the entire IRS, or the IT Dept," it had tweeted.

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