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]
03rd, January, 2022
DO No. 05/CH(IC)/2021
My best wishes to each and everyone in the CBIC family for a very Happy and Prosperous New Year. This week let me start with a story.
Sometime in the late 1870s, a Parisian obstetrician named Stephane Tarnier took a day off and visited the Paris Zoo. He stumbled across an exhibit of chicken incubators. Seeing the hatchlings triggered an association. Before long he had improvised a machine to regulate temperature for new borns. Within a year, the device halved the infant mortality, especially for premature babies. Tarnier’s machine was the precursor to the modern Incubator and is arguably the greatest public health intervention of the twentieth century – infant mortality rates saw a 75% decline between 1950 and 1998. This just goes to show how good becomes great when capability meets ingenuity. In the new year, perhaps we all need to strive for a little “great” in our lives!
The beginning of the new year is also the beginning of the last quarter of the financial year 2021-22. The Government had earlier launched the Special Campaign for Disposal of Pending Matters in respect of VIP references, Public Grievances and Swacchta. In the same vein, it is time for each one of us to take stock of pendency of other items of work in our respective jurisdictions and to launch a frontal attack on it with a view to clean our books. Unless we do it in a campaign mode we won’t succeed.
To that end, I propose to initiate Project Saadhit [Self-Appraisal & Disposal Targets]. I would urge each Zonal Chief to take stock and draw up an action plan within this week in respect of five key areas of work where pendencies are highest in their charge with a good mix of technical and administrative/ HR items and share it with their Zonal Members. Let us be ambitious, both in setting targets and timelines and in our resolve to achieve perceptible progress. Please also examine the build-up, if any, in investigations, vigilance matters, infrastructure projects or proposals and include them, if needed. The objective should be to liquidate/minimize pendencies in these areas of work by 31st March, 2022 and to monitor progress on a regular basis.
Moving ahead, renewing our commitment to Taxpayer Facilitation and in keeping with the spirit of the `Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ celebrating 75 years of India’s Independence, CBIC dedicated 75 Taxpayer Facilitation Centres (in GST & Customs field Formations) to taxpayers on the lines of the theme for Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav – Idea, Achievement and Resolve. The Facilitation Centres would act as a local help desk to assist the taxpayers and hand hold them as and when required.
On the Customs side, the transposition exercise for the Customs Tariff was given final shape this week. The International Convention on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS Convention) entered into force on 1 January 1988 and serves as a bedrock for Customs Tariffs. To account for changes in trade patterns and technological advances, the Tariff undergoes a re-organization every five years.
The latest exercise has been completed and the updated tariff is now available on the departmental website. You may like to go through the same. The transposition exercise by Tariff Unit and the publication of the tariff reflecting the HS amendments are a major achievement. Kudos to the Customs Wing and to all officers associated with this mammoth task.
The New Year brought with it good news of collection of GST Revenue of Rs. 1,29,780 Crore in the month of December, 2021. In face of daunting odds all of you have worked really hard to make this possible. My heartfelt thanks to all of you and special thanks to Member (GST) and Member (Customs) for regular monitoring and Member (IT & Taxpayer Services) and his team for regularly collating the numbers to enable the regular nudges! We need to keep up the good work.
Continuing with our focus on revenue augmentation, Member (GST) held discussions jointly with the Central & State GST administrations in Karnataka to explore a coordinated action plan for revenue augmentation and to explore areas of possible synergies. This is a new initiative whereby Zonal Members would cover all formations in their jurisdictions by holding such joint meetings to devise strategies for revenue augmentation for GST, over the next few weeks.
On the Anti-Evasion side, in one of the first cases of its kind, officers of CGST Mumbai Zone detected GST Evasion of Rs 40.5 Crores on commissions received by a Crypto Currency exchange. Upon detection, the assessee deposited the entire amount of the tax evaded along with applicable interest and penalty, totally amounting to Rs 49.2 Crores.
DGGI Hqrs. also booked cases for evasion of GST to the tune of Rs. 31 Crores by 04 assessees. The assessees have since deposited Rs. 35 Crore (including interest and penalty). Cases such as these reflect the changing contours of evasion as well as the vigilance of our field formations. My encomiums to Member (Investigation) and his team of officers for a string of good cases to round out the year.
I am happy to share that 162 officers have been grant Non-Functional Selection Grade (NFSG) [i.e. Additional Commissioner of Customs and Indirect Taxes] with effect from 01St January 2022. Many Congratulations to these officers and my compliments to Member (Admin) and her team for their tireless efforts. I understand work is underway for other such orders.
Continuing our emphasis on new ideas and innovations, I would like to mention an initiative taken by Chennai CGST Zone called ‘Facilitation @ Taxpayer’s Doorstep’. In association with the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO), a team of officers led by Chief Commissioner, CGST & Customs, Chennai had one on one interactions with taxpayers and exporters and redressed their grievances on the spot. Other formations may like to organize similar interactions.
Before I sign off, at the risk of repeating myself, I would like to nudge field formations to keep a close watch on revenue collections, particularly IGST import revenue. Our targets may be tough but I am sure that we are equal to the task. Zonal Chiefs may continue to monitor revenue collections on a daily basis and make all possible efforts to optimize collections.
With the rise in the number of Covid cases, we all need to exercise proper care and adhere to the prescribed safety protocols. By way of preparation, field formations, as in the past, may like to identify nodal contact points who could co-ordinate and assist, if so required. Till next week.
All Officers and Staff of Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs