The directive to tax officials, including field officers/staff, to work from home during lockdown should not be seen as a 'coercive action', a government official said.
"The government is working to ease the taxpayers by giving various reliefs on compliance and regulatory measures. These directives of CBDT must be seen in the same spirit where the field officers and staff of I-T department while working from home have been asked to get in touch with taxpayers as facilitators to assist them to perform their tax related obligations," a government source said.
To contain the COVID-19 outbreak, just like the private sector, central government employees have been asked to work from home till April 4.
According to an order issued by the Union Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, heads of department (HoDs) have been asked to ensure that 50 percent of Group B and C employees are required to attend office every day, and the remaining 50% staff should be instructed to work from home.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
"Facilitating and guiding taxpayers desirous of making tax payments, making sure that salaries and wages are paid timely to regular employees/contractual staff of income tax department without any delay or compilation of report of work already being done by the officers of the department cannot be termed as insensitive towards anybody," the source said.Follow our full coverage here