The activities of Central Intelligence Cell (CIC) of the National Board of Revenue (NBR) are being greatly hampered for lack of adequate manpower and proper government attention, reports UNB.
According to the CIC sources, a total of 25 persons, including nine senior officials, are now working in the CIC against the government approved manpower of 30 officials without casual staff.
The CIC now has one director general, three joint directors general, nine deputy directors general, two second officers, one superintendent, two inspectors, three data operators and four casual staff.
"It is very much difficult for the senior CIC officials to go the offices of suspected tax dodgers to verify their files and documents," said the sources.
They said the CIC officials are supposed to operate in a wide field of revenue area. The NBR did not suggest any specific field of work for the CIC officials, which means "we are to work in any area of the revenue sectors."
In this connection, the sources mentioned that on December 15 last year they caught two customs officials in the act of negotiating kickbacks from the taxpayers.
After this, the CIC was asked to launch a drive to probe the cases of other tax officials under suspicion, they said.
It is for the first time in the NBR history that two of its officials got caught in a trap laid by its intelligence outfit, the CIC sources claimed.
The two customs officials -- Superintendent Zahed Hossain and Inspector Nazrul Islam -- were suspended on December 15 immediately after they were caught red handed while negotiating kickbacks.
The CIC contributed more than Tk 11 billion to the revenue by detecting tax evasion and realising the taxes last year, the sources said.
Last year, the CIC detected tax evasion to the tune of Tk 10 billion by different businesses, including garment-industry owners, professionals like doctors, lawyers and engineers, service-holders, private security agencies, shipping agents, C&F agents and marriage bureaus. The tax watchdogs already realised Tk 1.0 billion from the tax evaders.
The government, through the NBR, allocated Tk 15 million for the CIC in fiscal 2005-06 of which the CIC spent Tk 6.5 million for its modernisation.
"We are very much active in curbing tax evasion, but shortage of manpower is hampering our activities," said a senior official of the CIC.