Arun Jaitley asks tax officers to emulate Gandhi, maintain ethics

Amid the ongoing controversy involving Delhi Government bureaucrats, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday said the officers should emulate the Gandhian principle and maintain position of ethics and morality.

Invoking Mahatma Gandhi, he said: “You will always face a lot of pulls and pressure in your career, and you will always be in doubt what direction to follow. There will be pressures from seniors, from peers, from politics, from governments, from powerful individuals, and business interest, there will be temptations.”

He added: “What you will do when you are in doubt? The simple answer is when in doubt go straight, you will never go wrong. The moment you deviate a few inches, there is no limit to which you can fall.” Addressing the 67th batch of Indian Revenue Service (Customs & Central Excise) officer trainees, Jaitley said if the officers maintain “absolute standards of ethics and 100 per cent integrity”, they would definitely go a long way.

Jaitley’s statement comes against the backdrop of senior bureaucrats in the Delhi Government going on mass leave for a
day on December 31 to protest action against suspension of two officials after they refused to sign a file pertaining to the Delhi Cabinet decision to increase salary of public prosecutors. The action of the Delhi Government, however, was declared void by the Centre.

Officers, Jaitley said, should “emulate the Gandhian principle that even in moments of struggle, they should be in a position to maintain the position of ethics and morality on their side.

“All this was to be accompanied by professional competence and a judicious and fair approach in tax collection.” He asked them to attain professional excellence and retain the idealism inculcated at the time of joining the service with the same enthusiasm till they retire.

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