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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 : vivekjohri.irs@gov.in


10th January, 2022

The first week of the New Year brings with it the onset of the third wave of COVID-19. As the number of cases mount, we need to be ready, individually as well as institutionally, to meet squarely the challenge, as we have in the past. Please do not let your guard down, follow COVID – appropriate behavior at all times; test 85 isolate if necessary; stay safe and keep your colleagues, near 85 dear ones safe.

The week gone by began with the launch of the departmental digital calendar 2022. The calendar features antiquities seized as part of our endeavor to combat illicit trade in antiques and highlights the efforts made to reclaim the lost cultural heritage of the country. My congratulations to Director General, Taxpayer Services and his energetic team for their hard work in putting together a beautiful calendar.

The week also assumes salience because import and export declarations filed therein are the ones whose release time would be reckoned for computing the average release time both for the purpose of national and local Time Release Studies, 2022. The measurement of release time is a powerful means of assessing the efficacy of our trade-facilitation initiatives and how well-synchronised the cargo clearance machinery is at the border. NACIN is holding a workshop on 12th January with the field formations involved in these studies. Please use that opportunity to raise/identify as many research questions as you can to enrich the studies so that more wholesome inputs are available for further policy-making.

In yet another step towards technology infusion for improving our efficiency, administrative and financial approval has been received for procurement of five Mobile X-ray Container Scanners (MXCS) Systems. These state-of-the-art systems will be deployed at Haldia, Chennai, JNPT, Goa and Cochin.

Chennai Air Cargo Customs seized more than 1300 Star Tortoises, an endangered species under Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) 85 Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, from an export consignment destined for Malaysia. The tortoises were handed over to the jurisdictional State Forest Authorities for rehabilitation. Such cases underscore the role of Customs as the guardians of the Ecological Frontiers of the nation. Plaudits to the team that made the detection!

The AGT circulars for this year have been issued by DGHRD in the last week of December, 2021 & the portal for officers to lodge their choices has been opened on the 3rd of January, 2022. I request officers in the due list to submit their choices in time so that we may complete the exercise in a timely manner – well in time for relocations to happen before the commencement of the next academic year.

It was a pleasure for me to address virtually the national convention of the All India Central Excise Inspectors Association at Bhubaneshwar on 7th January. Recognising their critical role in the smooth functioning of GST and assuring them that their cadre issues would continue to receive the Board’s attention, I urged them to come up with suggestions on how we can augment their efficiency and professionalism.

I am confident that all Chief Commissioners would have finalized their Action Plans for Q4 2022 under “Saadhit” by now. Please hurry up as this is your chance to wrest the initiative and deliver results. Member (Admn.) and her team are actively working on institutionalising a mechanism for regular monitoring of work done under the Action Plans.

I am extremely happy to share with you that one of the ideas received under Navachar – viz. making available to the field formations D.O. letters written by Members as an electronic repository, has been implemented. Since these letters are for internal circulation it has been decided to host all such letters on Antarang, our intranet. I thank Ms. Limatula Yaden, Commissioner ICD, Delhi for the idea & assure all of you that other suggestions are also under our active consideration. That so many of you continue to share your ideas is a very good augury for our future!

So long!

Yours Sincerely,

(Vivek Johri)

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


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