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: 20th July 2020
The inherent strength of any department lies in the skillset of its officers. Apart from training, another important tool in improving their skills is through quality in-house resource material, which our officers can use as a reference. In the last few weeks, CRCL has released a brochure showcasing and increasing awareness about the new capabilities of CRCL labs. Mumbai Customs III brought out its Time Release Study (TRS) in line with WCO standards, which is invaluable in testing the efficiency and effectiveness of our clearance processes, while being an educative exercise for our officers in identifying procedural bottlenecks and in achieving greater efficiency. A smart and more user-friendly electronic version of SAMPARK was released by DGTS.
DGRI has also made its own significant contribution in the knowledge-resource area. The Board had earlier entrusted DGRI with the work of preparing a manual on using digital evidence in tax evasion cases. This was intended to help in updating officers’ skills in evidentiary, technical, and legal aspects of gathering digital evidence. I am happy to inform you that, in the week gone by, the “Digital Forensics Manual” prepared by DGRI has been released. This Manual cogently explains all aspects pertaining to digital evidence, including identification, collection, acquisition, transportation and preservation of potential digital evidence, in addition to digital forensics. I appreciate the efforts put in by DGRI and the Drafting Committee members especially Shri Abhai Kumar Srivastav, ADG NACIN. Bhopal and Shri Kaushik T.G, DD, DRI MZU for this quality work. I recommend that the Commissioners share and discuss salient aspects of the manual with the officers under their charge especially with those in the investigative areas.
The initiatives on bringing out such reference material of a high standard have not come to an end. I am told that a couple of such publications are due for release this month. It is very encouraging to see the knowledge-initiatives of our officers and staff. I am sure that they would continue to devote themselves to this worthy cause. It is equally important that formations which had brought out manuals earlier, should also ensure they are updated by the year-end.
Last week also saw two important milestones being achieved. Indian Customs facilitated the first containerised cargo export from India to Bangladesh using an Inland Waterways route. 45 TEUs of sponge iron was loaded from Haldia Port for delivery at Pangaon Port in Bangladesh. Another significant step was in respect of Indo-Bhutan trade. A new route for the movement of commercial traffic from Land Customs Station (LCS), Jaigaon, was opened, that leads to Pasakha in Bhutan, on 15.07.2020. Our officers in the field deserve praise in making a success of these initiatives aimed at enhancing trade and strengthening ties with our friendly neighbours. Not to forget the officers of the Board who have toiled to put the law and procedures in place. Congratulations.
During the week, the anti-smuggling activities of our field formations have resulted in certain noteworthy cases. Customs Commissionerate (Prev), Amritsar, has foiled an attempted gold-smuggling attempt at the Amritsar Airport and seized 10.22 Kgs of gold worth Rs. 5 crore. Chennai Air Customs has seized 25 LSD stamps, 131 “Coca- Cola” and DHL, Ecstasy pills and 14 gms of MDMA crystals valued at Rs. 6 lakh under the NDPS Act from postal parcels at the Foreign Post Office, Chennai. The alertness of officers at ICD, Sanathnagar, Hyderabad, led to the booking of a case of undervaluation and mis-declaration of miscellaneous goods declared as `Luggage Bags, Earphones, Bluetooth Speakers, USB Cables and Key Chains’ with a declared value of Rs. 4,06,674 whereas the actual value of the consignment has been assessed at Rs. 1,24,00,579. Such detection of illegal activities and smuggling, while facilitating genuine trade, is praise worthy.
The frontline officers and staff at the Airports continue to assist air travellers significantly during the `Vande Bharat Mission’. Since this mission commenced on 6th May 2020, approximately 720 thousand inbound and 93 thousand outbound passengers have been assisted in these evacuation efforts. Our officers at the Airports have done a creditable job of clearing these passengers smoothly while giving equal importance to anti-smuggling activity thwarting the attempts of unscrupulous persons who do not hesitate to try to make personal profit even during a time of crisis.
With a view to reach out to stakeholders, I interacted and addressed the Madras Tax Bar Webinar series on CBIC’ s Trade Initiatives’ yesterday. The lively interactive session covered various trade-friendly initiatives undertaken by Indian Customs that are in line with promoting Ease of Doing Business. I urge officers to reach out to the stakeholders for handholding and creating awareness about the various initiatives of the department.
I am glad that a suggestion made in my letter last week has actually materialised. I have been informed that two officers of the Delhi Customs Zone namely Shri Manoj Singhal, Superintendent and Shri Akhil Ahlawat, Inspector have recently donated plasma to needy Covid-affected individuals that includes a donation to family member of our officer. I commend their noble humanitarian act in this crisis. I am also happy to note that the Zones have started the exercise of compiling the voluntary plasma-donors lists. I conclude on this positive note, while wishing you and your family members a safe and healthy week ahead.
with best wishes
(M. Ajit Kumar)
All Officers and Staff of Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs