Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Revenue
Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs
North Block, New Delhi 110001
Date: 11 October 2021
DGHRD had presented a bouquet of programs and facilities last week. This necessitated a Board meeting dedicated to HR and Administration matters with the Zonal / Directorate Chiefs through a Video Conference on 8th October, 2021. The continuous efforts of the Directorate to streamline administrative and HR matter is indeed praise worthy.
During the meeting, a SMART — infra utility (Simultaneous Monitoring And Review Tool for Infrastructure) was launched by the Board for online tracking and monitoring of all infrastructure related matters including repair, maintenance and hiring of buildings by the formations / DGHRD. This should give a fillip to our infrastructure related concerns which at present require a dedicated focus. In this regard, Zones are also required to reply to DGHRD on my D.0 letter relatinq to vacant lands held by the department. I expect a timely reply.
To further the efforts of achieving a more conducive environment at our work places, another application [email protected] tab — an online module for monitoring of Swachhta projects was launched by the Board. The Board also released the 3rd edition of the Swachhta Booklet — “Swachhta Uday” on the occasion. The “Swachhta Awards 2020-2021″, announced earlier in August, 2021, were also presented to the respective Zonal Members on behalf of their Zones / Commissionerates. My hearty congratulations to the award-winning formations.
The meeting agenda included a discussion on Vigilance Awareness Week, 2021 and the ongoing special campaign for disposal of pending matters (SCDPM). All the formations have been asked to update the dashboard and report about the action taken regarding reported pendency under various items of work like VIP references or about identified and weeded out files/ material.
Saturday, the 9th of October, 2021, was earmarked as a day for the entire department to take up the basic work of identifying, segregating, and, where possible, shredding of segregated documents or collection of discarded furniture, discarded material, etc for subsequent disposal. The feedback received is encouraging and shows that our officers and staff had committed themselves to the said cleanliness drive during the month. This weeding out of materials not only creates additional work space but also provides a clutter free and healthy environment to work in.
On 7th October, 2021, His Excellency Dr. Saud Al-Sati, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, met me at North Block. He noted the close historical and commercial ties between the two countries and expressed the need for deepening cooperation in Customs matters. The two side’: discussed mutual assistance in law enforcement, facilitation through exchange of pre-arrival data and finalization of an agreement on Customs Cooperation to increase the scope and for deepening of customs relations between the two countries.
In a fillip to trade facilitation on the exports side, the facility for generating e-scrips by exporters has been made live by Customs on ICEGATE under the RoDTEP and RoSCTL schemes. Eligible exporters under these schemes can now create scrips. This is a huge game changer. Circulars No. 22/2021-Customs and No. 23/2021-Customs, both dated 30.09.2021, and Systems Advisories Circulars No. 22/2021-Customs and No. 23/2021-Customs, both dated 30.09.2021, on RoSCTL and RoDTEP schemes, have been issued by the Board which may be gone through for further details on scheme implementation. The Tax Research Unit, Drawback division and Systems Directorate have worked hard and in tandem to make ;t a reality, against very stiff deadlines. We can be proud of the work well done by team CBIC.
Now it is time to turn our focus on anti-smuggling activities. Last week, in one of the biggest seizures of foreign origin cigarettes in recent times, the officers of the Delhi Customs (Preventive) Commissionerate had seized 38 lakhs cigarettes of premium foreign brands valued at about Rs. 7.60 crores from a private godown in Delhi. One person has been arrested. The officers of DRI, Mumbai Zonal Unit have seized about 25 Kgs Heroin at the Nava Sheva port that was declared to Customs as Sesame seed oil and Mustard oil and concealed in oil cans. The container was imported from Afghanistan. Three persons have been arrested in this case so far. Chennai Sea Customs, acting on a DRI intelligence, intercepted an export consignment destined for Malaysia and seized 2100 kgs of Red Sanders. The Red sanders were wrapped in black polythene sheets and concealed in iron pipes. One person has been arrested and further investigation is on.
On the anti-evasion front, among the cases other than the fake ITC ones, the officers of DGGI, Raipur Zonal Unit had detected a case worth Rs. 148.7 crores wherein the party was availing huge ITC of Compensation Cess which is otherwise restricted. A recovery of Rs. 30 crores has been made so far. On a similar matter, the officers of DGGI, Surat Zonal Unit, had detected and got reversed the inadmissible ITC of Compensation Cess to the tune of Rs. 44.27 crores. The officers of the DGGI, Lucknow Zonal Unit detected a case of availment of huge ITC on input goods and services which were used for providing both taxable as well as exempt supplies. The entire availed ineligible ITC of Rs. 158.93 crores, attributable to the exempt supplies, has been recovered. Among the cases pertaining to fake invoices, the Thane CGST Commissionerate reported a detection of a fake ITC case to the tune of Rs. 181 crores for services provided for fees and commission on contract basis on retail trade and supply of goods. Similarly, Mumbai South CGST Commissionerate detected a fake ITC case of about Rs. 270 crores relating to diamonds, whether or not worked but not mounted or set. Mumbai GST zone has appreciably stepped up its all-round anti-evasion work.
On the issue of recovery of arrears, the Ranchi CGST Commissionerate has reported a huge recovery of Rs.101 crores pertaining to a Service Tax matter. This is a welcome revenue augmentation effort which other zones need to replicate.
On staff welfare, the Chief Commissioner, Pune Zone, on 7th October, 2021 inaugurated many new/improved facilities that includes the renovated Reception lobby and Control Room, renovated Canteen on the ground floor and RO plant located on the rooftop at the GST Bhavan. Also at the GST Bhavan Residential Complex, the Club House and the Open Gym were inaugurated. I am sure that all these would benefit the officers and their family members at work and otherwise.
The Customs K9 Centre, Attari, Amritsar has released the 3rd issue of its quarterly newsletter ‘MUDHOL”. The newsletter highlights the heart-warming success stories of our K9 squad deployed all over the country. Field formations should utilize and scale up this facility for detection. I wish the Canine Centre more such success.
With half the financial year behind us, it’s time to take stock of our budgets and the expenditure targets set. I am sure that budget heads pertaining to Infrastructure, Swachhta, Rewards, etc. would have received due attention by the zones. It would come under Board’s focus in the days to come.
I am happy to mention that the Governing Body of the Welfare Fund has approved a proposal for the sanction of an amount of about Rs. 80 lakhs for grant of Cash Awards to 719 meritorious children (391 girls and 328 boys) of departmental officers and staff for their excellent performance in the 10th/12th standard Board examinations in 2019-2020 from the Welfare Fund. I wish all children of our staff a very bright future and all success.
(M. Ajit Kumar)
All Officers and Staff of Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs