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08 Feb 2017

Punishment if govt employees criticize govt action

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley issued a warning to all government employees of disciplinary action if they criticised government policies in public.

The caution assumes significance in the wake of protests against decisions of the Jaitley-led GST council by employees of Central Board of Excise and Customs.

Failing to comply with the rule against criticism of government decision will be punishable under the service rule.

In context

FM warns staff against criticizing govt policies
What were the protests about?

How did it happen

What were the protests about?

Members of IRS (Customs and Central Excise), All India Association of Central Excise Gazetted Executive Officers, All India Central Excise Inspectors' Association and All India Central Excise and Service Tax Ministerial Officers Association participated in the protest on January 30.

They felt that the decision to give states the power to levy tax in some cases would lead to confusion and chaos for them.

What had the GST council decided?

On January 16, the Council had decided to give states the powers to levy a tax on economic activity within 12 nautical miles of territorial waters and administer 90 percent of the taxpayers under Rs.1.5 crore annual turnover besides certain provisions of GST.

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The nature of the protest

About 70,000 tax officials and employees had participated in the protest against certain clauses of GST while declaring that they supported a smooth implementation of the new tax system.

The protests were peaceful and the participants wore black bands to draw attention to their complaints.

These protests were symbolic in nature and held on Martyrs day (January 30) by officers of CBEC.

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