|File picture of Parthiv Patel
Ahmedabad, June 24: He drives a BMW, lives in a mansion, and can afford a month’s holiday with his family in America.
Yet, out-of-favour Test cricketer Parthiv Patel has applied for the job of a “glorified peon” with the income-tax office here for a monthly salary of Rs 15,000, which should be less than the combined pay of his driver and two household hands.
An income-tax official who scrutinised job applications to the office expressed his perplexity to The Telegraph. “We were astounded. Is he serious about the job? Does he really need the money?” he wondered.
Parthiv, 27, owns four cars and two bungalows, one of them at the golfing resort of Kings Villa, 45km from here. His earnings run into several crores a year. (See chart)
The income-tax official said Parthiv, who studied till Class XII, had applied for three posts: tax inspector, tax assistant (salary Rs 20,000-25,000) and multi-tasking staff (MTS).
“He is not eligible for an inspector’s job since he is not a graduate — the requirement cannot be relaxed,” he said.
The official described an MTS as a “glorified peon” who mainly moves files, serves notices on defaulters, gets documents photocopied and enters data. Parthiv is one of 5,800 applicants for the post.
The wicketkeeper-batsman, holidaying in the US with his wife and two-year-old daughter, could not be contacted but his father Ajay confirmed that Parthiv had applied for the income-tax jobs after receiving an “offer”.
Apparently, a department honcho had assured the cricketer he would be selected under the sports quota.
Reliance Industries had given Parthiv an executive’s post in 2004, when he was an 18-year-old Test cricketer. Why would he apply for an MTS’s post?
“The Reliance contract is only for 20 years,” Ajay said. “It will be over when Parthiv turns 38. He will not be playing cricket forever. If he gets the income-tax job, he can work till he turns 58.”
Nobody would reveal how much Reliance pays Parthiv. If it is more than Rs 42,278 a month, his earnings in the remaining 11 years of his contract will outstrip those from a Rs 15,000 job over 31 years, assuming the rate of increment is the same.
Asked if Parthiv could work simultaneously for the income-tax department and Reliance, a senior company official said an emphatic “No.”
But he clarified that if Parthiv joined the government workforce, he could still be eligible to do assignments and endorsements for the company.
In any case, Parthiv is not required now to come to his Reliance office regularly and is only expected to attend company events, the executive added.
Will the income-tax department expect Parthiv to attend office and work if he gets the job, or will he basically sit at home and earn an extra few thousands?
“He will have to come to office,” said the income-tax official, “but not if he has matches.”
Parthiv plays the Ranji Trophy and domestic limited-overs tournaments including the IPL, and was recently part of the India A team — so future international engagements are not ruled out, either.
“Besides, if he wants to go for practice, he will be exempted from attending office provided he can give us a letter from the Gujarat Cricket Association,” the income-tax official added.
Since the income-tax department is not known to play inter-office cricket, all that Parthiv may have to do to pocket his salary, even if recruited under the sports quota, is attend departmental programmes, a source suggested.
The department created the post of MTS last year merging all Group B, C and D jobs such as those of peon, daftari and lower-division clerk.
Several national-level cricketers hold jobs with and play for government entities, such as Air India, but none is known to hold a post as low as an MTS’s.