Black money: Govt appoints outgoing CBDT boss as SIT Advisor

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Nov 1 2014, 14:17pm hrs
Black money(Representational image) The 1978-batch officer retired today as the Chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT). Reuters
Senior IRS officer and outgoing CBDT Chairman K V Chowdary was today appointed by the Government as an Advisor to the Special Investigation Team (SIT) that is probing black money cases.

An expert on tax issues and financial investigations, Chowdary will take charge of the new post from today on his retirement after serving over three decades in the Income Tax cadre of the Indian Revenue Service (IRS).

The 1978-batch officer retired today as the Chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT).

"Both the SIT and government wanted the officer to continue as he has been dealing with blackmoney cases for a long time and has been a part of all the deliberations that have taken place on this subject in the last three years," a senior Finance Ministry official said.

The SIT is headed by retired Supreme Court Judge M B Shah with Vice-Chairman Justice (retd) Arijit Pasayat and heads of 11 different organisations or departments as members on the high-powered panel.

SIT sources said Chowdary would be carrying out all important works of coordination between the agencies on this apex panel and he would also be meeting various national and international stakeholders in furtherance of the government's aim to curb the menace of black money.

"However, the terms of his mandate will be announced later by the Finance Ministry," they said.

An official order issued today evening by the Finance Ministry said Chowdary will keep drawing the same salary, allowances and facilities, except pension benefits during this new tenure, as allowed to him as the CBDT chief.

His tenure, according to the order, will be for a period of six months and it could be extended further if need arises.

Chowdary has had one of the longest stints in CBDT, the apex policy making authority of the Income Tax department, having held the charge of Member (Audit and Judicial) in the board before taking over charge of investigations.

He has earlier worked as the Director General of I-T (Investigations) in the national capital where he headed a number of high-profile tax probes, including those relating to the 2G spectrum allocation case and the HSBC Geneva taxpayers list along with a number of cases dealing with black money and tax evasion.

The officer is also credited with initiating a host of new steps to enhance and fine-tune the snooping capabilities and investigations of the Income Tax department.

A number of high profile searches and raids were carried out by Delhi investigations unit of the department during his tenure.

He has earlier served as the Chief Commissioner of I-T in Vishakhapatnam and Director (Investigations) in Nagpur.

He was part of the Revenue Secretary-led delegation which recently met Swiss authorities in Berne in order to take bilateral talks forward on these issues and probe into the suspect illegal funds stashed abroad by Indians in the banks of the Alpine nation.

Chowdary's batchmate and CBDT Member Anita Kapur is slated to take over as the new CBDT Chairperson and sources said order for her appointment to the top post are expected to be out very soon.

CBDT has six members apart from the Chairman and is the apex body for framing policy and administrative issues related to direct taxes and the Income Tax department.