The large scale promotions at the Central Board of Excise and Customs, mandated to formulate policy concerning levy and collection of customs and central excise duties and service tax, were made effective from late last month.

A total of 2,162 officials -- 1,863 from the grade of superintendents of central excise and 299 from the grade of superintendents of customs (preventive) -- have been given these ad-hoc promotions on 'in-situ basis' to the post of Assistant Commissioners (ACs), CBEC officials said.
     
It is for the first time that such a large number of superintendents have been promoted as ACs (Group A) at CBEC. These promotions come against the backdrop of Group-B revenue officials typically taking a much longer time to reach the level of ACs, as against their peers in the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), officials said.
     
These officials join at the level of inspector in the CBEC and it takes about 25 years for them to become AC. The comparative time taken by their CBDT counterparts is ten years less, they added.
     
However, the order for these promotions clarified that these officials are being promoted purely on ad-hoc basis and would not confer any rights for regular promotions.
    
"The promotion to the grade of AC of Customs and Central Excise are made purely on ad-hoc basis and does not confer any right on the officers so promoted for any claim for continued officiating or regular promotion in the grade of Assistant Commissioner and the period of such service shall not count for seniority or as qualifying service for further promotions," the CBEC said in its order.

The Chief Commissioners and Directors General concerned have been instructed by the board to ensure that any of these promoted officers, if under suspension or facing any charge sheet or prosecution, is not allowed to assume charges.

The last chairperson of the board, J M Shanti Sundharam, who retired on October 31, is said to have played an important role in the overall cadre restructuring.
     
"The promotion of a large number of Group B officers has bridged the long-standing stagnation at Group B level. This was also crucial for stabilising the cadre restructuring plan of the department," Sundharam said in a message to newly promoted ACs days before her retirement.
     
She also urged officers to refrain from "unnecessary litigation" as it delays the promotional prospects of their own respective cadres.
     
The cadre restructuring was approved by the Finance Ministry in May this year. "Months of hard work and waiting have finally paid off. The cadre restructuring is late by seven years, even so there is a cause for happiness as a large number of promotions in different grades can now take place," she said.

 

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