Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Revenue
Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs
North Block, New Delhi-110001
Tel. No. +91-11-23092849, Fax : +91-11-23092890
E-mail : [email protected]
Date: 23rd August 2021
Trade facilitation continued to be a major theme last week. One of the objectives of Faceless Assessment is to do away with the disparities in classification, rate of duty, non-tariff measures, etc. Sometimes, Commissionerates and Directorates handling audit or preventive functions, during the course of their work, issue alerts / advisories relating to matters covered under section 151 A of the Customs Act, 1962, without the Board having taken a view on the matter.
The Board has hence issued Instruction No. 19/2021-Customs dated 17th August, 2021, on the scope of Section151 A of the Customs Act, 1962. These instructions reiterate that Directorates/Commissionerates, including Audit, should bring to the notice of the Board if any need is felt to issue instructions under Section 151 A of the Customs Act, 1962. This would help maintain consistency and uniformity while reducing inconvenience to the trade and industry.
In another compliance facilitative gesture, taking cognizance of the difficulties and, at times, delays faced by the custodians of EXIM cargo in winding-up operations and in de-notification of CFSs and ICDs, Board has streamlined the procedure relating to these to ensure that it would be completed in a time bound manner, by issuing Circular No. 20/2021-Customs dated 16th August, 2021. This circular also addresses the challenges in disposal of the goods stored therein.
Giving a boost to our digital thrust, DG Systems has now rolled out all functionalities of ADVAIT enabling use of 210 MIS and ADVAIT reports. Further, jurisdictional dashboards have been provided for GST and Customs formations. High-end functionalities like B1 self-service portal, Specialized tools liked 3CE, NeO4j, 360-degree Entity dash board, import and export commodity dashboards and Data science dashboards having ML/AI models have also been enabled. All officers should utilize the functionalities of ADVAIT to their maximum potential. For ease of understanding and self-learning, computer-based training modules and self-instructional videos have been uploaded on the Learning Management System (LMS) of NACIN.
It is time now to turn our focus on the notable performances of our formations on the anti-evasion/anti-smuggling fronts.
Meerut Zonal Unit of DGGI has unearthed a fake billing racket involving numerous fictitious firms manipulating fake invoices to show the procurement of metal scrap, leading to the passing on of unlawful ITC of approximately Rs. 130 crores without any concomitant supply of goods. Two persons have been arrested in this case. intelligence developed by the officers of DGGI Bengaluru Zonal Unit resulted in a detection of irregular availment of ITC to the tune of Rs. 25 crores and a reversal of Rs. 23.77 crores from an assessee. DGGI, Bhopal Zonal Unit, in an ongoing case has reported an additional recovery of Rs. 514.16 crores taking the total detection and recovery so far to the tune of Rs.1340.09 crores.
DGGI Siliguri Zonal Unit has detected and recovered an amount of Rs. 288.49 crores by way of reversal of inadmissible ITC in supply of goods which are exempt from GST. Surat Zonal Unit of DGGI has detected an ineligible availment of ITC in works contracts amounting to Rs. 26.55 crores and the same has been reversed by the assessee. Anti-evasion Branch of CGST Agra Commissionerate had made a case involving availment of fake ITC. In this case 95 fictitious firms were involved in availing fake ITC amounting to Rs. 32.56 crores with a taxable value of approximately Rs.184.56 crores.
The Anti-Smuggling Unit of Imphal Customs (Prey.) Division seized 50,000 tablets of Amphetamine valued at Rs. 5 crore. The person involved has been arrested under the NDPS Act, 1985. The Headquarters Preventive team of Kolkata Customs Preventive Commissionerate recovered 6.2 kgs. of Gold bars / biscuits of foreign origin, valued at Rs. 3 crores (appx.) that was smuggled through the Bongaon route from Bangladesh. In this connection, two persons have been arrested. Air Cargo Customs in Chennai seized 2247 live star tortoises attempted to be smuggled out of India to Thailand. DR1 Bengaluru Zonal Unit intercepted a South African traveling from Johannesburg at Bangalore Airport. A total of 83 capsules allegedly containing cocaine weighing 1007 grams were retrieved from his stomach.
With our anti-evasion and anti-smuggling units successfully unearthing a string of cases, the message to the non-compliant trade is clear. The department is highly capable of making precise strikes against tax evaders and smugglers who should desist from these activities. Congratulations to all the teams of officers involved in booking the above cases.
On the HR and Administration front, I am happy to share that the Governing Body of the Welfare Fund reviewed the initiatives taken during 2020 – 21 and in the current financial year. Further, a new scheme for financial assistance to physically challenged officials / dependant family members for procurement of assistive devices was approved. The scheme is operational as I write to you. The highlight of the scheme includes financial assistance to the tune of Rs. 50,000 for departmental officials and to dependent family members for procurement of assistive devices. It is requested that the details of this scheme be widely circulated so that eligible persons could obtain maximum benefits.
The zonal allocation of newly recruited Stenos of Grades I and H has been done by the Board based on the results of SSC Stenographers Exam, 2018. The same has been uploaded on the CBIC website. Zones should ensure the issuance of offer letters and completion of the appointment process without delay.
Last week, I reviewed the performance of the Chennai Customs Zone and Tamil Nadu & Puducherry GST Zone. It was impressed on the officers to evolve and adapt to the changing needs of the times, create a business-friendly environment and render suggestions and ideas that would enhance efficiency and transparency in our tax payer services. The commitment of the zone in keeping the supply chain running seamlessly by interacting with the State administration during the challenging times of COVID was explained by the Chief Commissioner Shri M.V.S. Choudary. Efforts put in by the zonal team of officers for attending to medical emergencies and pressing into service a 24*7 kitchen facility for catering to families of affected officers, both serving and retired, are positive welfare gestures worthy of emulation by others during these difficult times.
I wish you and your family members good health and cheer.
(M. Ajit Kumar)
All Officers and Staff of Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Custom