Introduction: The weekly newsletter from the Chairman of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs (CBIC) dated 22/01/2024 covers significant updates on ongoing initiatives, including Swachhata Pakhwada, updates on GST timelines, and successful crackdowns against drug trafficking.

Detailed Analysis:

1. Swachhata Pakhwada: The Chairman emphasizes the importance of the ongoing Swachhata Pakhwada, marking the ninth consecutive year. The commitment to cleanliness within the organization and the broader ecosystem is reiterated. Field formations are encouraged to identify innovative practices and engage in community Shramdaan activities, fostering a cleaner environment.

2. GST Timelines Update: Timelines under GST for issuing show cause notices for the Financial Years 2018-19 and 2019-20 are discussed. The Chairman urges proper officers to issue notices after careful consideration of facts to avoid unnecessary litigation. Chief Commissioners are advised to monitor pending investigations to ensure a methodical approach.

3. Legacy Adjudication: Attention is drawn to the substantial pendency of over 1 lakh legacy cases involving Rs. 29,464 Crore, requiring prompt adjudication. The recent promotion of officers to Group ‘A’ level is expected to expedite the liquidation of this backlog.

4. Drug Trafficking Crackdowns: Notable incidents include a crackdown on a synthetic drug production and smuggling ring in Ahmedabad, leading to a significant seizure. In Hyderabad, Customs intercepted a suspect at the airport, uncovering a substantial quantity of heroin. These actions highlight the relentless efforts in thwarting illicit drug trafficking.

Conclusion: The Chairman’s newsletter provides a comprehensive overview of key developments within the CBIC. It emphasizes the organization’s commitment to cleanliness, adherence to GST timelines, expeditious legacy adjudication, and the success of Customs officers in combating drug trafficking. The newsletter serves as a valuable source of information for all officers and staff, keeping them informed and motivated in their respective roles.

Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Revenue
Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs

22nd January, 2024

DO No. 04/News Letter/CH(IC)/2024

Dear Colleague,

As you are undoubtedly aware, the Swachhata Pakhwada is being organized from 16th to 31st January. 2024. This marks the ninth consecutive year of Swachhata Pakhwada implementation. The observation of Swachhata Pakhwada is a reiteration of our commitment to cleanliness not only in our organization, but also in the entire ecosystem related to our work. The vision of the Hon’ble Prime Minister, aiming to integrate ‘swachhata’ into our collective attitude and culture, has undeniably enhanced our work environment. In the ongoing pakhwada, I urge the field formations to identify innovative practices that would be undertaken during the fortnight, and engage in Shramdaan activities in the communities where they are located. I am optimistic that the competitive spirit and enthusiastic engagement witnessed in previous Swachhata Pakhwadas will be replicated during this fortnight as well. Let us collectively contribute to fostering a cleaner and healthier environment around us.

I would also like to bring your attention to the nearing timelines under GST to issue show cause notices for the Financial Years 2018-19 and 2019-20. Although the timelines were recently extended (one month for F.Y. 2018-19 and two months for F.Y. 2019-20), it needs to be kept in mind by the proper officers that the issuance of show cause notices should be done after due consideration of facts and circumstances of the case and after examining the relevant documents submitted by the taxpayers. Needless to say, issuance of show cause notices recklessly will lead to unnecessary litigation in future. The Chief Commissioners of the Zones are advised to keep a close watch on the number of pending investigations, scrutiny, etc. to ensure that the officers under their supervision are working in a methodical manner.

On a similar vein, I would also like to sensitize the officers to give due attention to legacy adjudication. It has been pointed out previously on various occasions that substantial pendency of more than 1 lakh legacy cases involving Rs. 29,464 Crore is required to be adjudicated quickly as it has been more than six years since the rollout of GST. With the promotion of 2398 officers from Group ‘B’ to Group ‘A’ level, there has been substantial increase in manpower at the level of adjudicating officers. The increased strength should also translate into faster liquidation of pendency.

Weekly Newsletter GST Timelines Update

In a major crackdown against drugs, the officers of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Ahmedabad, interdicted an export consignment at Air Cargo Complex Ahmedabad. A detailed investigation led to the busting of a production and smuggling ring of synthetic drugs and the seizure of 50 kg of Ketamine worth Rs 25 crores under the NDPS Act. During a swift follow-up, a factory set-up was also identified on the outskirts of Gandhinagar, where a detailed search led to further recovery of 46 kgs of powdery substance suspected to be NDPS. Three key persons involved in the said smuggling have been put under arrest.

In another notable incident, the officers of Hyderabad Customs, on the basis of passenger profiling, intercepted a suspect at the airport. On thorough inspection, heroin weighing 5.9 Kgs was found concealed in the side walls of the document holder and trolley bag. The value of the seized drugs is estimated to be about Rs. 41 Crores in the illicit market.

Outstanding efforts in thwarting the illicit trafficking of drugs along the borders.

Till next week!

Yours sincerely,

(Sanjay Kumar Agarwal)

All Officers and Staff of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes 86 Customs.

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