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Vivek Johri, Chairman

DO No. 66/CH(IC)/2022 Dated: 06th March, 2023

Kautilya notes in the Arthashastra that, “only by protecting and defending the borders of the state can a king ensure the safety and well-being of his subjects. For just as a leak in a dyke can cause a flood that destroys an entire village, the smallest breach in the border can wreak havoc in the entire State”.

These inspiring words hold particular meaning for us, as at many a remote outpost, often in daunting terrain our officers work tirelessly to perform a unique balancing act – guarding against the delinquent and facilitating the compliant.

The wind howls, the sun blazes, and the cold bites, but they remain steadfast in their duty. Often they remain unsung heroes, silent sentinels working tirelessly and selflessly, steadfast in their utmost devotion to duty.

Last week, Hon’ble Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, visited one such Land Customs Station viz. Panitanki, in West Bengal where she interacted with the officers. In the course of the visit, Hon’ble Minister launched the Indian Customs EDI System (ICES) at LCS Kulkuli and LCS Nagrakata on India-Bhutan border. She exhorted the officers to work in union with other agencies such as the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) to achieve the common goals of effective border management.

Both LCSs are not only important for bilateral trade but also important crossing points for transit trade with and among neighboring countries. With this, out of 75 Land Customs Stations handling cargo movement and requiring Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), 60 are now EDI-enabled.

Hon’ble Minister was apprised regarding the use of advanced technology such as Electronic Cargo Tracking System (ECTS) and handheld devices used to help cut dwell time and enhance efficiencies for the trade. Further, Hon’ble Union Minister of State for Finance, Sh. Pankaj Chaudhry also visited our offices in LCS Serathang near the Nathula Border.

Moving on, bolstering our technical capabilities has been a constant endeavor for us. The week gone by, saw a major step being taken to further modernize and enhance our materials testing capacity with the requisite approvals coming through for creation of specialized testing facilities for narcotics & psychotropic substances, hazardous waste, food products, rubber & plastics and toys, as well as the creation of advanced IT infrastructure and facilities in the Central Revenues Control Laboratories.

On the anti-smuggling front, officers at the Chandigarh International Airport acting on intelligence generated by passenger profiling, interdicted an arriving passenger which led to recovery of 18 kgs. of gold valued in excess of Rs. 10 Crore. Heartiest Congratulations to the officers for an excellent detection.

Underscoring our commitment to the goal of Washamukt Bharat’, officers of Mumbai Customs Zone – 1, carried out destruction of about 61 kgs. of narcotics & psychotropic substances. Further, Customs (Preventive) Commissionerate, Tiruchirapalli also destroyed 300 kgs. of Cannabis and 95 cartons of Cigarettes. Kudos to the officers for their initiative.

Before I sign off for the week, I would like to take this opportunity, on behalf of the entire CBIC family and on my personal behalf, to bid farewell to Sh. Sailaja Ray Baruah and Ms. Ranjana Jha, both Principal Chief Commissioners from the 1987 Batch, who superannuated last week. Here’s wishing them the best for all their future endeavors.

Yours Sincerely,

(Vivek Johri)

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

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