Weekly newsletter from Chairman, CBIC dated 25/04/2022

Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Revenue
Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs
North Block, New Delhi-110 001
Tel. : +91-11-23092849, Fax : +91-11-23092890
E-mail : vivekjohri.irs@gov.in

DO No. 21/CH(IC)/2022 | 25th April, 2022

Few other botanical specimens would have aroused the sheer range of emotions that Poppies have. A symbol of Demeter, the Greek goddess of agriculture, poppies have been associated with abundance and regeneration as well as with valour, conflict and victory. From ancient Greek literature to the modern period including Amitav Ghosh’s evocative ‘Sea of Poppies’, poppies are perhaps the most storied of flowers.

We have had a long history of administration of the licit cultivation of Poppies for medicinal use. Destruction of illicit cultivation therefore comes as a natural adjunct of the same. Last week, Customs Commissionerate, Amritsar, in co-ordination with the jurisdictional Police and local administration, initiated a drive for identification and destruction of illicit Poppy crops in Pulwama district of the Kashmir Valley. Destruction was carried out on more than 90 plots of land. This operation is on-going and will continue for next few weeks.

The week gone by also saw the launch of the API based container scanner solution for Mundra, Krishnapatnam, Cochin and Nhava Sheva ports. The system is an integrated risk assessment platform for Non-intrusive Cargo Inspection whereby scanned images are made available for examination and the outcome fed back into the system, both for follow-up action, if any, and for better risk assessment in future. Heartiest Congratulations to Pr. Director General, Directorate General of Systems 86 Data Management and to Director General, Directorate General of Analytics 86 Risk Management and their respective teams for their work in the development of the system.

Engagement with our overseas partners has been a priority area for us. A step in that direction was taken last week with the signing of the India-Philippines Agreement on Cooperation and Mutual Administrative Assistance in Customs matters (CMAA), in an official ceremony co-chaired by Hon’ble External Affairs Minister and the Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Philippines. The Agreement enables exchange of information and intelligence between the two administrations and will go a long way in prevention, investigation and combating of Customs offences.

On the Anti-Evasion side, on the basis of scrutiny of returns, Officers of CGST Delhi (South) Commissionerate detected a case of excess availment of Input Tax Credit amounting to more than Rs. 94 Crores. The entire amount has since been recovered. Kudos to the officers for their diligence.

CGST Delhi detected a case of excess availment of ITC of Rs. 94 Crores

Last week, officers of Amritsar Customs interdicted a consignment of liquorice roots being imported from Afghanistan. X-ray scanning revealed irregular spots in some of the wooden logs. On closer examination, some logs were found to contain a powdery material in specially made cavities. A total of 102 kgs of powder, suspected to be heroin and having an estimated value of more than Rs. 700 Crore in the international market was recovered. Congratulations to the officers for their alertness and hard work.

Moving ahead, the first session of an online e-lecture series “Prabhodhan” was inaugurated by Member (Legal). Organized in coordination with the National Judicial Academy, Bhopal, the series included lectures by Hon’ble Mr. Justice G Raghuram and Hon’ble Mr. Justice Mohammad Shaffiq, on the topic, Constitutional authority to tax and basis of taxation. I gather that more such sessions are in the works. Heartiest Congratulations to Chief Commissioner (AR) and his team, especially Commissioner (AR), CESTAT, Ahmedabad for this excellent initiative.

Before I sign off for the week, I would like to mention about some local trade facilitation initiatives taken at the India-Bangladesh Border at Petrapole. In order to remove bottlenecks and to further streamline flow of Cargo, on our request, Bangladesh Customs has agreed to keep the Border Gates operational till they receive all vehicles for which the LEO was issued on that day. They have also agreed to extend timing of issuance of Car Pass from 3:30 PM upto 8:00 PM and to provide for facilitated clearance of chassis/motor vehicles on a dedicated day/time. This local initiative is a fine example of Co-ordinated Border Management – one of the best endeavour principles of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement. Congratulations to Commissioner of Customs (Preventive), Kolkata and his team for their excellent initiative.

Till next week!

Yours Sincerely,

(Vivek Johri)

All Officers and Staff of Central Board of Indirect Taxes &, Customs

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