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

20th December, 2021

DO No. 03/CH(IC)/2021

Whose woods these are I think I know; His house is in the village though; He will not see me stopping here; To watch his woods fill up with snow.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, But I have promises to keep; And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.

The nip in the air and the hubbub of year-end activity reminded me of these famous lines from Robert Frost. The chill in the air is quenched by the flurry of activity in the Board at this time of the year.

To begin with, with the Budget exercise is in full swing, the officers of TRU and policy wings of the Board are burning the mid-night (and weekend) oil. As always, I am happy to note their enthusiasm and hardwork throughout the process. My very best to each one of them and heartfelt thanks to their families for supporting them through this time. Likewise, the HR teams in the Board and field formations are working hard to make sure that pending DPCs are completed in time.

This week, as we observe the Good Governance Week, it is heartening to note the inauguration of the Examination Scheduling Digital Application for Air Cargo Complexes through a pilot launch at Air Cargo Complex, Mumbai. The application will further reduce the need for physical interface between shed/docks officers and the trade, provide transparency and enable both sides to use their time optimally. My congratulations to all the officers of the Directorate General of Systems & Data Management who brought this initiative to fruition.

Dept recovers Erroneously availed IGST refund of more than Rs. 40 Crore

In the same vein, a Mobile X-Ray Container Scanner (MXCS) was inaugurated at the New Mangalore Port. This would help identify risk from misdeclaration of cargo in a non-intrusive manner. I commend Chief Commissioner, Sh. M. Srinivas and his team of officers for their hard work on the project.

Another welcome development on the digital front is the roll out of new functionalities of the ACES­GST application to streamline the process of review and to facilitate filing of departmental appeals in a time bound manner in Hon’ble High Court and Supreme Court. The application sets the tone for review to be done in a prescribed/uniform proforma by all formations and captures critical data with colour codes and alerts on orders that are pending for review.

It is a matter of great pride that CBIC has been conferred with the “DSCI Excellence Award 2021” by the Data Security Council of India, an industry body under NASSCOM. The award is a recognition of the Directorate General of Systems & Data Management rolling out a secure solution within days of Pandemic-related lockdown to provide remote access to the GST application to all GST officers pan-India.

The 85th Session of World Customs Organization (WCO) Policy Commission was held last week. The Indian delegation led by Member (Customs) had a fruitful discussion on areas of critical and emerging importance. The theme of WCO for the year 2022 is “Scaling up Custom’s Digital Transformation by Embracing a Data Culture and Building a Customs Data Ecosystem”. While our approach and objective towards this goal has been work in progress and coalesces well with our strategy on GST too, there is a need for deepening and expanding the use of data in all areas of work. Let us think together on how we can achieve that.

On the Anti-Evasion side, Officers of CGST Commissionerate, Bengaluru West detected a case of import of PV Inverters without payment of IGST and Customs Duty against Advance Authorization. The manufactured PV Inverters were then exported on payment of IGST and a refund of the same was claimed. The entire amount of the erroneously availed refund of more than Rs. 40 Crore has since been recovered. My congratulations to the team for a job well done!

Keeping up our vigil against smuggling and illicit trafficking, officers of the Customs (Preventive) Commissionerate, Kolkata seized 1,44,000 sticks of foreign-origin Cigarettes being transported by road. The free movement and sale of smuggled cigarettes continues to be a matter of concern needing persistent and concerted action.

Warmth of good tidings would bring cheer to our officers who will usher in the New Year with their elevation as Additional Commissioners. I am happy to share the news of the completion of the Departmental Screening Committee for grant of Non Functional Selection Grade (NFSG) to eligible officers of the 2009 batch. Our plaudits to Ms. Neeta Lall Bhutalia, DG, Directorate General of Human Resource Development and her energetic team!

I am confident that your teams and you are putting in your best possible efforts for revenue augmentation in whatever legitimate way you can – whether by pursuing non-filers or defaulters or verification of red-flag reports in GST or timely completion of assessment or clearance in Customs.

Although substantially reduced, Covid-19 infections continue to surface. There is no room for letting your guard down. Please ensure that you continue to observe Covid-appropriate behavior and stay safe.

I round off this week by noting the enthusiastic response to our initiative of Navachar. A large number of suggestions and ideas have been received. Quite a few are suggestions on improving the quality and content of reports being generated on GST. An interesting suggestion on centralization of Administration-related work of Divisions in the Commissionerate Hqrs. has been received from Sh. Sunil S. Katiyar, Commissioner, CGST Commissionerate, Panchkula. We are examining the suggestions with regard to possible next steps. Please keep the suggestions coming, however may I request for them to be summarized in less than 100 words.

Here’s wishing you and your loved ones a very happy festive week. Merry X’mas!

Yours Sincerely,

(Vivek Johri)

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

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