Two stalwarts, late CA N. C. Mehta and Shri P. C. Joshi, Advocate, both of Mumbai, conceived dream project of unified national tax bar, formed ‘All India Federation of Tax Practitioners’, (AIFTP), on 11th November, 1976. The Constitution and Rules & Regulations were adopted in 1996 as Society and were amended on 22-4-2001, 1-10-2005, 25-12-2013 and 24-12-2016. It has within its fold Senior Advocates, Tax Advocates, Chartered Accountants, Tax Practitioners (6714), Association (133), Corporates 32 aggregating to 6,888 members as on 31-7-2017. It is duly registered under the Bombay Trusts Act in 1997, under Income-tax Act and donations are exempt u/s. 80G. It maintains regular and proper books of account, which are audited and return of income is filed regularly. It is a charitable educational institution and commands reputation, with membership spreading in all the States of India and has attained unique position at national level.

AIFTP is the solitary NGO, inserting ‘Standards of Professional Conduct and Etiquette’ for its members in its Constitution. Membership is accepted after screening. Larger number is interested in enrolment as life member. Looking to fall in ethics in tax profession, it is advisable to insert a pledge to act in accord with the Standards enshrined in its Constitution. It is equally advisable that its President/Chairman, Office bearers and executive members also take oath while assuming office and adhere to the mandate of its constitution, rules & regulations. It would usher in sense of duty and intention to actively serve fellow members. It has already imbibed fellowship, brotherhood, fraternity and a member is assured of a helping / co-operating member in every city, town or metro, giving the pleasure of a Hindu Undivided – Family, ready to serve each other and to act for good of all members of the family, but no right to break or claim division.

Over the years All India Federation of Tax Practitioners has been built as a sound institution, brick-by-brick by its Presidents, Chairmen, Office-bearers and committee members (past and present). It is the only organisation which is organising National Tax Conferences, Seminars, Residential Refresher Courses, Workshops, etc. exceeding 20 in a year, to update and expand knowledge of its members and other participants. In some of the Conventions/Conferences registrations exceeded 1000 and for 2-3 days with nominal registration fee and active participation uptill last session. Brains’ Trust Session is the brain-wave of the Federation, which gives an opportunity to seek authentic opinion on any intricate question by tax experts of national repute. Such session is lively and the trustees assure such queries may be sought by e-mail too. Souvenir is published and provided, containing useful papers articles and material.

Term of an executive including President was 3 years, reduced to 2 years in 2005, further reduced to 1 year from 2015, though tenure of office-bearers and members except Deputy President remain as 2 years. On reduction of tenure, it is desirable the President / Chairmen and their team function 365 days with zeal, enthusiasm and devotion. Elections are conducted at the National Convention every 2 years. National Convention-cum-National Tax Conference (3 days) have to be organised by the Deputy President within his zone. All the faculty members have to be afforded with the hospitality of the accommodation, have to be appropriately looked after till departure and the organiser should ensure the attendance of at least 500 participants, with minimum delegate fees.

There exists 5 Zones for administrative convenience and Managing Committee for each Zone. Guidelines for organizing the National Convention / Conference and Guidelines for functioning of Zonal Offices have been formulated. Rules for ‘Ranka Best Tax Seminar Running Trophy; and ‘Awards’ set up in 1994, stands published. Guidelines for awards of All India Federation exists since 25-12-2013. Awardees for Ranka Awards are to be selected by the Selection Committee, to be nominated by the National Executive after including Chairman and Hon. Secretary of Ranka Public Charitable Trust, Jaipur. However, it may be mentioned that the named office-bearers of the Trust are not consulted since 2013. Even timely intimation is not given.

National Executive to meet once in a quarter in any Zone. Meeting to coincide with the Seminars, Conference etc., should be of 2 days and must ensure the attendance of at least 300 participants. Faculties should be of national repute, must be approached in advance, to obtain confirmation in writing and ensure their presence. It should be planned as to lead to sizable surplus which would form part of the Zonal office. Loss is not shared by the Federation. Accounts to be expeditiously prepared and audited. I am happy and express my gratitude to the faculties, trustees, chairmen etc., who register as delegate, do not seek reimbursement of travel and stay is optional, at the wish of the organisers.

Elaborate rules have been framed for election of National Executive Committee and guidelines have been prepared for the ensuing elections of Zonal Committees and National Executive Committee. Notification for elections would be published in AIFTP TIMES in October–November issue as elections for Zonal Committees would commence from 15th October and for National on 1st December at Jabalpur (M. P.). Election Officer(s) have been appointed at Kolkata on 2nd September. Nomination papers to be filed by members who are ready, willing and prepared to serve fellow members after abiding with the constitution, rules, regulations and guidelines. Canvassing is disqualification. Election officers President / Chairmen are requested to screen qualifications specified in the rules & regulations and non-elect unqualified candidate. It is their
solemn and sacred duty. Members must be also vigilant and need not perpetrate illegality and invalidity.

To avoid pinpricks, high-office of Deputy President used to be declared by the ‘Collegium’ of Past-Presidents as a convention and has always been respected. However in Rule 10(i)A “Note” stands added on 24th December, 2016 conferring power to the collegium consisting of the Present President, Deputy President and the active Past Presidents, not exceeding eleven, to select the Deputy President and the ‘Vice President for the first year of the two years’ term from the eligible zone. By insertion of Rule 11A a “Colleguim – Honourary Advisory Board” comprising of the active Past Presidents not exceeding 11, to advise, counsel and suggest to the National Elxecutive Committee in case of any policy or administrative expediency in the interest of Federation in its day-to-day working. First meeting of the Advisory Board was convened at Kolkata and was held on 2nd September, 2017 attended by six Past Presidents headed by Shri P. C. Joshi. My advice to the office-bearers is to respond immediately to any mail, communication or telephone of every number as you are ‘First Sewak’ of the Federation. Truth, Righteousness, Fairness & Boldness to prevail against all other considerations.

Intention to author this write-up, is to make available the relevant and pertinent Rules, Regulations, Guidelines, procedures and conventions, to update knowledge of the candidates willing to file nominations for ensuing and successive elections, to make elections fair and to boost morale of such members who want to ‘Serve above Self’ and discharge their debt to the ‘Society’.

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