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Model Interviews 8

Mr Sanjay Kumar is a Candidate for the SSC (Central Excise/­Income Tax) interview. He reaches the venue half-an-hour before the scheduled time. He introduces himself to the other Candidates who are also waiting for the interview. When his turn comes, the conversation is as follows:
Candidate
(Opens the door and says) May I come in, please?
Chairman
Yes, please come in.
Candidate
Namaste to you all, sir. I am Sanjay Kumar, roll ­number 348, reporting for the interview.
Chairman
Namaste, Mr Sanjay Kumar. Please be seated.
Candidate
(Pulls the chair to an angle, sits down and says) Thank you, sir.
Chairman
Before we proceed, Mr Sanjay Kumar, please be comfortable and if you have any clarifications or questions, please feel free to ask us.
Candidate
(Smiles and says) Thank you, sir. I am quite comfortable and have no queries to make at the moment.
Chairman
I note from your file that after your B.Sc. from Pune ­University, you have shifted to arts and appeared for MA in economics. While economics, we feel, would be quite helpful to you in the career you are aspiring for, with your science background you could have been more suitable for a technical job. Is it not so?
Candidate
Sir, till my graduation, I wanted to become an engineer, but circumstances forced me to leave my studies and take up a job in the accounts department of a private company near Pune. While working I thought of doing my MA in economics.
Chairman
With the combination of science and economics, how will you benefit in your career in the taxation ­department?
Candidate
Sir, I think the combination of science and economics would definitely help me in my career in the taxation ­department. As an excise officer, I may have to deal with technicalities regarding the manufacturing process of ­excisable goods and my knowledge of science would assist me to understand them. Further, with a scientific bent of mind, I can perceive various problems objectively and make a scientific analysis of their causes and search for remedies. Therefore, while economics is going to help me in my career, my scientific background will definitely give me additional benefit.
Chairman
I see that you are also doing a part-time course in computers. Do you think that computerization is good for a country where there is a problem of unemployment? Don’t you think that computerization would result in retrenchments, adding fuel to the fire?
Candidate
Sir, to believe that computerization would cause retrenchments and add to the existing problem of ­unemployment is not correct. I would say that this is only one way of seeing things. No doubt computerization makes the general office work less labour-intensive and reduces manpower requirement, but the overall benefits definitely outweigh the so-called ­demerits. You still ­require manpower to run the computers. The only ­difference is that the number of people needed for light clerical work would be reduced. Such people can be gainfully employed in more productive jobs and labour-intensive factory operations with much better emoluments. With the liberal trade policies ­India has recently adopted, more and more industrial houses are ­coming up and providing opportunities for well-paid jobs in factories, sales and marketing. The ­people retrenched from low-paid light clerical jobs will no doubt find numerous opportunities to secure ­better-paid jobs.
 
As far as the benefits of computerization are concerned, we know that it saves time, eliminates ­chances of ­human error and also reduces the possibilities of cheating and corruption. We have before us the ­example of computerization of railway reservations. Passengers are satisfied because they are sure that there is no cheating or corruption involved and the railways are benefited by the reduction in manpower required. Similarly, computerized electricity and telephone bills keep the customers happy and save the respective ­departments from charges of errors and corruption.
Member
Have you read about the Chelliah Tax Reforms Committee’s recommendations? What are the recommendations of this committee with regard to corporate taxation for 1993–94 and 1994–95?
Candidate
Sir, the Chelliah Tax Reforms Committee has suggested l­owering of corporate tax for all domestic companies to 45 per cent in 1993–94 from the present level of 51. 75 per cent by abolishing surcharge and to 40 per cent in 1994–95. The difference in the tax rates on domestic and foreign companies should be around 7.5 percentage points.
Member
What are the recommendations of this committee ­regarding the excise tax system?
Candidate
Sir, the existing excise tax system should be reformed into a VAT system. They have suggested immediate ­extension of MODVAT credit to all inputs that are used in the production of taxable commodities, except ­office equipment, accessories etc., extension of MODVAT credit to machinery not at the time of purchase, but in ­installments during a subsequent period and extension of VAT to the more important services used by ­productive enterprises.
Member
What do you mean by VAT and MODVAT?
Candidate
Sir, VAT stands for Value Added Tax and MODVAT for ­Modified Value Added Tax.
Chairman
Now, will you tell us what attracted you to a government job and that too in the taxation department?
Candidate
Sir, I personally feel that in a government job there is a lot of scope for hardworking people and the system of departmental examinations gives plenty of opportunity to rise. Further, I feel that this job would give me more satisfaction than a job in the private ­sector. Although my present job in a private company is well-paying, I believe work in the taxation department, ­especially in excise, would be more challenging, exciting and ­satisfying.
Chairman
What is your hobby? What do you like to do when you are free?
Candidate
Sir, in my free time, I write articles of general interest or regarding any particular personal experience. I often write for The Indian Express, especially for its Sunday Magazine section, and also contribute to the letters to the editor column.
Chairman
Good. Thank you, Mr Sanjay Kumar. That will be all. You may go now.
Candidate
Thank you, sir.




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