Lack of incentives creates 70% staff shortage in Enforcement Directorate

The Enforcement Directorate has told the government that its foreign investigations and probes into sensitive cases have been impacted as more than 70% of the posts in the agency are lying vacant. It said no one was opting for a deputation in the ED for lack of incentive schemes in the agency.

“It is difficult to fill up operational level posts as no officers are willing to come on deputation for lack of any incentive allowance… while the CBI has both special incentive scheme and a reward policy,” the ED said in a letter to the revenue department.

The ED’s current working strength is less than 450 against a sanctioned strength of 1,593. The agency is working at less than 30% of the sanctioned strength, and the vacancies are in top positions of joint directors, deputy directors and enforcement officers.

The anti-money laundering agency pointed out how others such as the Research and Analysis Wing and the Intelligence Bureau, which only gather intelligence, had incentive and reward policies for their officers. The financial implication of the special incentive allowance (SIA) demanded by the ED would be Rs 51 lakh a month on the entire current strength of the agency, it said. In the past seven years, the ED has made at least 14 representations to the revenue department highlighting the need for a reward policy in view of the huge monetary implications in cases of property attachments and money laundering that its officers handle.

After PMLA was brought in, the agency has investigated some big cases like Commonwealth Games, 2G scam, Coalgate scam and money laundering probes against Jagan Mohan Reddy, Jharkhand ex-CM Madhu Koda, and Haryana ex-CM O P Chautala. The Augusta Westland VVIP helicopter deal and ISRO’s S-Band spectrum deal are also under probe.