Woman IT officer to head crucial tax unit at OECD in Paris

NEW DELHI, Mar 4: In a maiden honor for India, a senior woman IRS officer has been appointed as the head of the crucial tax transparency unit of global financial body OECD that also formulates combat policies against black money.

Monica Bhatia, a 1990-batch Indian Revenue Service officer, will now head the Secretariat of the global forum on transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes under the Centre for Tax Policy and Administration (CTPA) in the Paris-based body.

The significance of this appointment can be gauged from the fact that India at present is just in an “enhanced engagement” and a peer reviewer at Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and not a full-member of the top world body.

Bhatia, currently working as a director in the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), will join her new office in Paris from April 1. Her appointment is seen as an acceptance to India’s efforts of tackling tax crimes and enhancing transparency in exchange of financial information.

“This is the first time that an Indian and also a woman is going to head this crucial body in the OECD. The fact that an Indian official will head the department at a time when India is only a partner and not a member of the global body speaks about the importance of the appointment,” a senior Finance Ministry official said.

“Bhatia will lead this major (transparency and exchange of information) OECD programme put in place in 2009 to advance the transparency agenda. She will have to ensure the quick and effective implementation of the peer review schedule which will soon start focusing on practical aspects of information exchange.”

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