What does a Civil Servant do?

January 31, 2009 at 6:59 am Leave a comment

The Civil Servant works both at the central and the state levels- there are national level services and state level civil services, both doing essentially the same jobs, but each with a wider or a narrower perspective as the case may be.

People who work in the civil services are known as bureaucrats. They help to govern the country, but they are not elected representatives of the people. Instead, they have been employed by the nation because of their talents and their management ability.

The way it works is this. Every ministry of the government is headed by an elected Member of Parliament who has been made a Minister by the Prime Minister of the country. The Minister makes policy decisions, which are planned together with senior civil servants, and then are implemented by civil servants at various levels.

Let’s look at the Ministry of Finance, for example. The Finance minister, who is an elected Member of Parliament, works with senior bureaucrats in the Finance ministry to come up with an annual budget for the country. The bureaucrats provide the Finance Minster with information on the money situation in the country and based on that information, the Finance Minister makes the budget.

The budget includes plans for how much money is to be spent on what sector. So much money will be given to the armed forces, for example so that it can upgrade its defense systems. So much money will be given to the education ministry, so it can hire more teachers and build more schools. But where is all the money going to come from in the first place? Income Tax is one way to raise money for the Nation. The other department from where revenue is raised for the country can be the Customs department etc. So the budget includes ways to increase the income tax collection in the country.

After the budget has been passed or approved by the Parliament, everything mentioned in the budget has to be implemented, including the Income Tax provisions. Who does this? The bureaucrat at all the levels of govt. The Income Tax provisions are passed on from the Ministry of Finance, where the budget was made, to the Indian Revenue Service, which takes care of all taxes and revenues, including sales tax, entertainment tax and so on, to the Income Tax Department. There, the provisions are handed down to the various commissioners in charge of separate functions, and commissioners pass them on to the clerks who will use the provisions to see if your parents have paid the correct amount of Income Tax or not.

Think about it- the budget was made in the Parliament in Delhi but the income tax provisions it set out have been followed by every single person in the country who has enough of an income to pay tax. That’s quite an operation and all of it is carried out by bureaucrats at various levels of seniority.


Entry filed under: Civil services. Tags: , , .

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