M.Ajit Kumar

Chairman

Ministry of Finance
Department of Revenue
Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs North Block, New Delhi-110 001
Tel. No. +91-11-23092849, Fax No. : +91-11-23092890
E-mail : ajit.m@gov. in

Dated 6th July,2020

Dear Colleague,

Last week was an eventful one. The pride of place  goes to the GST  Day celebrations on the GST of July, marking three years of GST.  Although  the  celebrations  were  subdued due to the prevailing situation, the event was satisfying. The meeting of the Board with the Hon’ble Finance Minister was a morale-boosting one for the service. She has, in her message on the occasion, congratulated CBIC officers and staff for the commendable job done during these testing times of Covid 19. While recognizing that the officers have been going beyond the call of duty to help and hand-hold  taxpayers,  she also appreciated  the record  amount  of refunds disbursed to ensure liquidity for taxpayers during these difficult times. The meeting with the Hon’b1e Minister of State for Finance also saw a  word of praise for CBIC  for effective use of the IT platform while working from home, in disbursing refunds and for the social outreach of our officers and staff in catering to the urgent needs of our fellow citizens in distress.

The positive message from four Pr. Chief Commissioners during the VC held on the occasion was reassuring in that, while there was a lot to do in  the  future,  we are on the  right track and only needed to pursue our policy goals more vigorously. The impression that was carried at the end of the day was that CBIC has in the last three years truly shouldered its responsibilities well. Be it the arena of policy, implementation, anti-evasion, outreach to the trade and even in manning the IT network, our officers’ contribution was not only acknowledged but also actively sought for further engagement. Our taxpayer base has been widened beyond what we had in our pre-GST days. The challenge is to manage and service this taxpayer base proactively and efficiently.

The icing on the cake was that the third anniversary of GST day started off on  a  happy note with the GST collections for the month of June, 2020 rising up to Rs. 90,917 crores. This huge upsurge from the previous months, though buoyed by delayed payments that had been allowed, did carry a pointer to the recovery and progress that the economy is making. Our handling of work during the disruption caused by the pandemic has been both energetic and purposeful.

The Sabka Vishwas  (Legacy  Dispute  Resolution)  Scheme  which  was  launched  from 1st September, 2019, came to an end on 30th June, 2020, after a Covid related extension of time. The dispute resolution and amnesty components  of  the  scheme  were a  success and the efforts of Member (GST), Shri A.K. Pandey in closely monitoring the progress of the scheme and motivating the officers to judiciously maximise the revenue needs special mention. These efforts saw total commitment on the part of all our officers and staff in walking the extra-mile to complete all statutory requirements on time for which  all officer and staff of the GST zones also deserve to be appreciated. Special thanks to Commissioner Shri Gaurav Masaldan for his untiring efforts in monitoring the scheme  and  his  regular follow ups with the Zonal Chief Commissioners.

Two important initiatives launched today on the Customs front shepherded by Member (Customs) Shri Sandeep M. Bhatnagar also need to be lauded. The Customs wing under his able guidance has been constantly striving towards making Customs completely contactless. The first one is the establishment of Turant Suvidha Kendras (TKS) in all customs formations. Considering the benefits ushered in by providing a single  point interface set-up in Bangalore and Chennai Zones for Faceless Assessment,  Board  has decided to extend TSKs  to all the Customs formations.  The Principal Chief  Commissioners  of Customs/ Chief Commissioners of Customs are advised to set up the TSKs in all customs formations by 15.07.2020. This step is being taken in advance of the pan-India roll out of faceless assessment.

The other initiative is in enabling certain functionalities on ICEGATE such as online management of bank accounts/ AD Codes for exporters, auto-debit of bonds and simplified registration for importers / exporters which would reduce the need for physical interaction, while also speeding up the Customs clearance process. The efforts of DG Systems, Shri Sandeep Kumar, and the commendable work done by Shri Gaurav Masaldan, Commissioner and Shri R. Ananth, Deputy Secretary (Customs) deserve a special mention.

In a testimony of our officers commitment to deal firmly with smugglers and tax evaders, fourteen passengers who arrived at the International Airport, Jaipur by two chartered flights from UAE and Saudi Arabia were intercepted by Airport Customs and 31.9918 kg of gold valued at Rs. 15,67,89,820/- cleverly concealed in their check in baggage have  been  seized.  My  congratulations  to  Ms   Ranjana  Jha,  Chief  Commissioner  and  Shri S.C. Agarwal, Commissioner of Customs and his team of officers for this rich haul.

ANTARANG, an intranet platform for CBIC officers was first launched in January, 2017. The DGS and the SI Team have worked with zeal and synergy to revamp the ANTARANG portal. This has led to a more aesthetically enhanced and user friendly ANTARANG 2.0. I am sure that the enhanced facilities of the revamped platform will encourage all of you to put this utility to larger institutional use. I place on record my appreciation of this work to the SI team headed by Sh. V.C. Gupta, ADG.

The Directorate General of Taxpayer Services (DGTS) conceptualized, designed and developed a smarter version of Sampark with features like text-based search facility by name/ designation / formations, etc which make it much more user friendly. I am hopeful that this M-Samparlc launched on GST day will be of immense help to all users in effective communication. My appreciation to Shri Manoj Krishna DG and Shri Nitin Anand ADG and their team of officers of DGTS for having brought out this helpful communication tool.

There is also some good news for the field formations who are having severe shortages at the level of inspectors. Board has issued zonal allocation orders for 1311  Inspectors (GST), ISO Inspectors (PO) and 182 Inspectors (Examiners). Orders for 11 steno grade II candidates and 963 TAs have also been issued. Zonal Chief Commissioners may make necessary arrangements for their training and issue orders at the earliest.

Being an eventful week, there is paucity of space to dwell on all notable matters and events. The trail will be picked up next week. Till then be safe and healthy.

Yours sincerely

(M. Ajit Kumar)

To

All officers and Staff of Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs

More Under Goods and Services Tax

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