The income-tax department has asked its officials to be more courteous while approaching taxpayers with queries regarding their financial transactions or returns. The I-T department had begun the practice of writing clarification-seeking letters to taxpayers some years back as part of its drive to collect additional revenue lying untapped, especially in cases of suspected non-disclosure or avoidance of tax by an individual or entity. The official letters sent by the respective I-T assessing officers (AOs), henceforth, would use ‘please’, ‘warm regards’ and ‘gentle reminder’ even as the taxpayer is addressed by name with proper salutation.
Preparing a Will is just a click away, as HDFC Securities has launched ‘e-Will’ writing service. To begin with, ‘Do it Yourself Will Service’ would be available to customers of HDFC Bank having a base of 28 million customers. HDFC Securities has 2 million users. A person can prepare a Will in “an easy and hassle-free manner by registering on the website”, HDFC Securities claims, and added, a person has to give list of assets and who one would like to bequeath them to. Savers are asking: ‘What is the catch? Why would a stockbroker offer such a service?’ Is it designed to ensnare more customers for the broking business?
According to AIBEA, while there are clear-cut rules and guidelines regulating the conduct of bank employees and officers, there were no such regulations for executive directors and CMDs
The All India Bank Employees' Association (AIBEA) has urged the union government to frame a set of rules and conduct regulations applicable to executive directors (ED) and chairman and managing director (CMD) of banks.
CH Venkatachalam, general secretary of the AIBEA, said that while junior-level officers and employees were sacked by bank managements for bribery and misconduct, top executives committing major frauds often go unpunished. "If there be a rule for the entire staff of the bank, why not for the top executives?” he asked in a statement.
Last Saturday, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested six people including Sudhir Kumar (SK) Jain, CMD of Syndicate Bank in a case of alleged bribery of Rs50 lakh.
“This is not the first time that top executives of banks seem to have indulged themselves in," Venkatachalam said, adding "earlier, in the 90s, the CMD of UCO Bank was arrested for involvement in the Harshad Mehta scam and was jailed. There have been cases coming up now and then and many cases get hushed up."
“It is high time that the Government should frame a set of rules and conduct regulations applicable to the EDs and CMDs of the Banks,” he said. Venkatachalam goes on to add that, “In a context where Banks are facing huge bad loans, the accountability for the same at the top should be ensured.”
The statement from AIBEA goes on to note that, cases of high level officials at the State Bank of India and the United Bank of India were either hushed up or buried. This is especially problematic when you consider that ordinary employees of these banks suffer swift action for much less serious misdeeds and misdemeanours.