The sub registrars attached to 575 offices in the state are now in a state of shock over the sudden inspections and three-level tier scrutiny by the commercial tax minister P Moorthy and department secretary Jothi Nirmala. “The minister who is going through the newspaper clippings on alleged malpractices and irregularities from registrar offices has created a list of offices that should be subjected to sudden inspection,” said an informed commercial tax official confirming that the transfer process has been kicked started for errant sub registrars in five districts including Salem, Erode, Coimbatore, Namakkal and Tiruppur. Next week, there is a zonal meeting for the Trichy zone and these inspections are kept confidential and the zonal deputy inspector of registrations of the department has been instructed to conduct statewide sudden inspections on a daily basis, the official said.
The minister had last month presided over a pledge taking ceremony for the commercial tax officials and warned departmental action for those demanding bribes and not practising the token announcement system. The minister during an inspection at the Tiruchengode sub-registrar office on Wednesday found that the registrar was violating the token system. After hearing from the public the minister told reporters in Namakkal district that the registrar will be transferred out of the Tiruchengode office. Similarly, the minister during his Coimbatore zone inspection reminded the officers about the pledge ceremony in Chennai.
“If you don’t abide by rules and carry-on registration works honestly and transparently, be ready to get transferred or suspended,” commercial tax secretary B Jothi Nirmalasamy said after the minister’s sudden inspection in Erode, an informed official witness told DT Next. The minister’s first official interaction was not pleasant for most of the registration and tax officials who had gathered to Chennai from different parts of the state, and now more than two dozen transfers done in the department within two months, he said adding a sense of uncertainty prevails in the department. “We should wait and watch whether the minister is doing such things for publicity or he is really trying to bring transparency in letter and spirit,” the source opined.