By, Itishree Mishra
Pranab Kumar Das, Principal Chief Commissioner Income Taxes, Odisha
Born and raised in Angul (Odisha), Pranab Kumar Das(Dedication to Job is the Greatest Reward) nursed the dream of becoming an administrative officer. After passing out of Angul High School, Das joined Ravenshaw College. Bright at academics, he could enroll in the Delhi University for pursuing post-graduation.
His father, Prafulla Chandra Das, was a Professor, and his mother, Anuradha Das, a simple homemaker who had not studied beyond the tenth standard.
Still, she served as the fount of inspiration for the success of Das(Dedication to Job is the Greatest Reward) who rose through the rungs of hierarchy to be the Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Taxes.
Despite being a student of erudition in his school days, Das barely had any idea what it takes to scale the rungs of the success ladder.
Only after he got admission at Ravenshaw College, Cuttack, he was exposed to the competitive aura.
One day, he(Dedication to Job is the Greatest Reward) stumbled upon news of Hrushikesh Panda and Priyabrata Patnaik clearing the UPSC examinations. Their names had stormed into the pages of newspapers and it inspired him a lot.
It proved to be the cusp of his career and he firmed up his mind to be an administrative officer. His appetite for excelling in a competitive ecosystem was tested when he joined Delhi University.
He(Dedication to Job is the Greatest Reward) took the UPSC civil services examinations, considered to be the most grueling of competitive tests and cracked it. Post his success; he was recruited in the Revenue department in the capacity of an IRS officer.
His administrative career began in Kolkata where he was promoted as Joint Commissioner.
Das served in several capacities- Director General of Income Tax, National Academy of Directors, Commissioner Income Tax, and Course Director in West Bengal, Kerala, Maharashtra, Bihar, Jharkhand, and the seven Sister States before his current elevation to the post of Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Taxes, Odisha.
An audacious officer, he has helmed many challenging operations like Birla Case in Kolkata, a massive number of successful cash seizures, and crackdown on black money. He superintended myriad assessment orders leading to swelling tax collections.
Yet he believes achievement doesn’t come in a solid form.
“It’s not easy to articulate your achievements at the end of the day. No one can quantify the achievements in the field of income tax as no one likes the income tax department; people have this notion that we get something and financial benefits accrue to us during the seizure”, Das says.
By citing the example of the movie ‘RAID’ where real-life seizure incidents were screened on the reel, he said such searches with their attendant stressful situations happened with metronomic regularity.
“But it is our duty and we are conforming to it”, he asserts.
For him, the reward is a self-driven concept and he is glad if his team is happy with their assigned work.
As a successful administrator, his message is “Give your best with the dedication to your job; it is the greatest reward you are giving yourself”.
Beyond the humdrum of the life of a ‘Tax Man’, Das has been a sports lover and likes to immerse himself in history books when he finds some time. He also dotes on crosswords, one of his favorite hobbies.