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 : firstname.lastname@example.org
M. Ajit Kumar, Chairman
Date: 3rd May 2021
The gross GST revenue collection of Rs. 1,41,384 crore in April, 2021, has set a new record as the highest ever collection in a month ever since the introduction of GST in the country. GST revenues have not only crossed the Rs. 1 lakh crore mark successively for the last seven months but have also shown a steady increase. It is also for the first time that the domestic GST collection in a month has crossed the Rs. 1 lakh crore mark. Despite the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Indian trade and industry deserve admiration for the rapid way in which they have bounced back in such an adverse situation. They have also shown remarkable resilience by not only complying with the return filing requirements but also paying their GST dues in a timely manner during the month. Appreciation also to all officers and staff in the field, directorates and policy-making units, for their diligence that has contributed in making this record revenue collection possible. All stake holders need to continue to optimise their contributions in this manner during this extremely challenging time.
The operational difficulty caused to the trade by the pandemic has led the CBIC to proactively take measures to facilitate and assist stakeholders. On the Customs side, a dedicated Helpdesk for hand holding trade, industry and individuals to expedite customs clearances of imports has been provided. Similarly, a Helpdesk for Covid related imports through the courier mode has also been set-up and is running apart from a dedicated toll-free number for general queries: 18003010-1000. To tackle any exigency and facilitate imports across the country, all Customs Zones have appointed a nodal officer for providing assistance to the trade with Joint Secretary (Customs) as the Nodal Officer in the CBIC.
hi view of the pandemic, notifications have been issued exempting Basic Customs Duty and/or Health Cess on imports of a number of COVID-19 related relief materials, for a limited period. Instructions have also been issued to expedite clearances of Covid related imports facilitated by the Ministry of External Affairs and / or imports made by Indian Red Cross Society. Glad to note that clearances of the Covid related assistance provided by various countries are being enabled on a 24*7 basis by the customs field formations in a very short time. Zonal Chiefs and the senior officers have also been monitoring and ensuring that the Board’s instructions are followed in letter and spirit.
On the GST front, the Government has announced a slew of relief measures under the GST law on 2nd May, 2021 to enable taxpayers in meeting the statutory and regulatory compliances under Goods & Services Tax (GS’ law while coping with the pandemic. These includes reductions in rates of interest, waiver of late fees, extension of due dates of filing GSTR-1, IFF, GSTR-4 and ITC-04, etc. We should ensure that these relief measures are made known to the taxpayers through virtual outreach programs and through social media coverage in the vernacular language.
The Chief Commissioner (AR), CESTAT office has come out with an excellent E-Compendium of CESTAT orders – an e-Book titled “E—Compendium of CESTAT Case Laws” that consists of a compilation of the significant orders of Hon’ble CESTAT of the last 3 years for the benefit of departmental officers. The E-Compendium is in the form of a .pdf file with an easy search facility. This compendium is an useful tool for all departmental officers and must be widely circulated within the department. My appreciation to Chief Commissioner (AR) Shri Satish K. Agrawal and his team.
On the anti-smuggling front, DRI, Mumbai Zonal Unit, has recovered 2.2 Kgs of cocaine worth approximately Rs. 13.35 crore ingested by two passengers. Both have been arrested. Chennai Sea Customs, based on specific intelligence, intercepted and seized an export container which had concealed within 6.4 MTS of Red Sanders valued at Rs. 5 crore. Hyderabad Customs booked a case of Gold smuggling in which a total of 2.7 Kgs of Gold valued at about Rs. 1.36 crore was seized. My appreciation to the officers concerned for maintaining a close vigil even during these difficult times.
Member (Admin. & Vig.) had shared a concept note on CBIC’s COVID Response as an important welfare measure with the Zonal / Directorate Chiefs. It outlines the support that can be rendered by them to Covid affected officers and staff, both serving and retired, during distress in terms of medical aid and humanitarian assistance both in financial terms and by way of supplies of essentials including food, transport, etc. It draws from the experiences of zonal relief teams that are already in operation. Responses have come in from most of the formations and CBIC’ s “National COVID Response and Outreach Programme”, is being finalised by DGHRD for issue shortly. It will help guide and standardise our field level responses to the pandemic. We owe this program to the officers and staff, both serving and retired, and their families.
In time, like all other calamities, this pandemic too shall pass. Meanwhile, please stay safe, get vaccinated, build immunity and follow Covid-related protocols for your own safety and for those you come in contact with. 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 Customs