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 : [email protected]
Date: 21St September 2020
The Board held a video conference on 15th September 2020 with the Heads of Zones and Directorates to discuss revenue augmentation measures by GST and Customs formations in the remaining part of the financial year. With the lock-down being gradually lifted, the focus is inevitably shifting to maximising revenue collection. The extended time-limits for compliance under the GST Act by the Taxation and Other Laws (Relaxation Of Certain Provisions) Ordinance, 2020 set in view of the Covid-19 pandemic, are coming to an end. We now need to focus on compliance-based tax collection. This would include measures such as reaching out to taxpayers with early prompts on timely filing of returns etc. as also taking enforcement action, wherever required, to ensure better compliance.
I had, in my last letter, mentioned the need for extensive use of Business Intelligence and Fraud Analytics (BIFA) for targeted audit and enforcement action. This should be diligently done. Further, ensuring higher return-filing percentages, action on non-filers/stop filers and red flag reports, etc. would be steps in the right direction. Similarly, maximum trade facilitation should continue to be extended to the EXIM community while simultaneously ensuring compliance by, for instance, timely closure of bonds and encashment of BGs where ever due. Chennai Customs Zone had circulated a note and held a seminar on the matter. I am sure all zones would have followed up and will have substantial progress to show in this regard. Speedy disposal of gold and other goods ripe for disposal should also be done to maximize revenue collection.
The Board has released a bilingual e-booklet prepared by the CGST Hyderabad Zone on e-Way bills containing 70 FAQs in English and Telugu outlining the concept and processes involved in generation of e-Way bills. All zones should make such contributions in their own unique ways.
On the anti-evasion front, bravery and devotion to duty by our officers have again prevented smuggling of gold and narcotics. A team of DRI and CGST officers, despite being fired at, seized over 5 Kgs of gold valued at Rs. 2.94 crore from a vehicle and 221 Kgs of silver valued at around Rs. 1.35 crore from a premises after a midnight vigil at village Kharia Meethapur near Jodhpur. Three persons involved were apprehended with the help of local Police. One witness suffered a bullet injury in the firing but is thankfully out of danger.
The officers of the Commissionerate of Customs (Preventive) NER. Shillong. along with the personnel of 46 Assam Rifles, effected seizure of 1,09,800 numbers of Methamphetamine tablets, valued at Rs. 5.49 crore, from Champhei Melbuk road near the Indo-Myanmar border. Congratulations to the officers involved in these outstanding anti-smuggling operations.
The CGST Chennai Outer Commissionerate has detected Rs. 107 crore GST credit fraud based on fake invoices valued at Rs. 740 crore issued through fictitious companies. These companies had issued tax invoices to various business entities without supplying any goods or services. Similarly, officers of Central GST, Raipur has detected a case of wrongly availed Input Tax Credit of Rs. 12.53 crore on an invoice value of Rs. 82.10 crore based on bogus invoices issued by many firms. Arrests have been made in both the cases and further investigations are in progress. Congratulations to the formations for detecting these cases.
Sniffer dogs are a critical element of every Customs administration’s anti-smuggling strategy. Earlier, the Board had released the updated K9 Manual. Last week, a passing out parade of the first batch of customs canines was held after 9 months of training in detection of contraband held by the Customs K9 training facility at Amritsar on 18.09.2020. These canines will now be deployed in customs formations all over the country. I wish them success.
Friends, while every loss of life is tragic, recently we lost a much-loved member of the CBIC family, Shri Minabu Sherpa, Head Hawaldar. He joined the department as a casual worker in 1986 and numerous batches of officers of our service fondly remember him as the man who had cooked and served them meals so lovingly during their training. He had been with NACIN for over three decades. He had tested positive for Covid-19 and passed away on 8.09.2020. Tragically, his wife Smt. Bishnu Sherpa also passed away while undergoing treatment for Covid-19. In a spontaneous heartwarming gesture, officers and staff from across the department have come forward to help and have contributed handsomely to support the family.
I once again remind everyone to take all due precautions against the pandemic both while at home and at the workplace. Zonal chiefs should ensure that in case of any eventuality and fatality due to Covid-19, the ex-gratia financial assistance should be made available to the family members at the earliest as per the Board’s guidelines. We should not wait for the family members of a deceased officer to make a claim and instead take the initiative of contacting the family and guiding them in every such case. I also request the Associations to play a pro-active supportive role in this regard.
I wish good health to all officers and staff and their families.
with best wishes
(M. Ajit Kumar)
All Officers and Staff of Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs