NEW DELHI: The President of India today appointed election commissioner Sushil Chandra as the 24th chief election commissioner of India.
Chandra, replacing Sunil Arora, who has superannuated, will assume charge tomorrow.
He was appointed as an election commissioner on February 14, 2019, ahead of the last Lok Sabha elections.
During his tenure as election commissioner, Chandra supervised assembly elections of more than 10 states and worked towards making the entire nomination process online.
Chandra belongs to the 1980 batch of the Indian Revenue Service (IRS). Prior to his appointment as election commissioner, Chandra was posted as the chairman, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) which is the apex body looking after the work of policy administration and implementation of direct taxes in India.
He had been heading CBDT since November, 2016. Chandra served for 38 years in the Indian Revenue Service before assuming charge as election commissioner.
Chandra was at the forefront of the government’s fight against black money as he spearheaded the department’s action against tax evasion in the wake of demonetisation.
He actively strengthened the government’s clampdown on benami transactions by executing the Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act, 1988.
During his tenure as chairman, CBDT, he also led from the front while playing an active role in the unearthing of illegal money used during the assembly elections.
He signed various treaties with other countries for automatic exchange of information between the countries.
He also represented India in various international conferences on international taxation, tax crimes and use of technology in taxation.
While at the helm of affairs, he was the person who signed the treaty between India and Switzerland which was critical for automatic exchange of information between the two countries.
Under his stewardship, the department made extensive use of data mining and analytics for carrying out investigations into dubious transactions and tax evasion matters in a non-intrusive manner through ‘Operation Clean Money’.
An avid proponent of the use of technology, Chandra has also taken the lead in rolling out the e-assessment process where scrutiny assessments are being made without any physical interface between the tax payer and the tax department.
With the increased use of technology and data mining, he was instrumental in increasing the number of taxpayers by 24 per cent.
Born on May 15, 1957, he did his B-Tech from Roorkee University and also holds a degree in LLB from DAV College, Dehradun. He has also undergone various trainings at IMF, IIM Bengaluru and Wharton on management.
Before joining IRS, he was in the Indian Engineering Service.