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]
M. Ajit Kumar, Chairman
Date: 12th April, 2021
The Hon’ble Prime Minister has made an appeal to all our countrymen to participate in a ‘Tika Utsav’ from April 11th, the birthday of Shri Jyotiba Phule to April 14th, the birthday of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. He has desired that, during this period, all eligible citizens should get themselves inoculated against the Covid-19 virus. Earlier, the Hon’ble Finance Minister addressed all officers of the Ministry of Finance on April 9, 2021, and has requested all of us above the age of 45 to get inoculated and thus join the war against the spread of the pandemic. In this regard, I had also, on the same day, made a similar appeal to the Zonal Chiefs / Director Generals of CBIC and, through them, to all officers and staff. We need to accelerate this voluntary movement by continuing to take the initiative to organise centralized inoculation camps for the convenience of eligible staff, both serving and retired, and their families. Welfare funds has already been placed at the disposal of formations, specifically for this purpose.
I am happy to see that our field formations have taken up the call in right earnest and have speeded up facilitation of eligible staff and their spouses for getting vaccinated. Board Members too have been in the forefront of the inoculation drive. We should go in for 100% coverage by April 14, 2021 in the interest of the health and well-being, not only of our colleagues and families, but also of the public at large.
The 22nd Regional Heads of Customs Administration (RHCA) Conference of the Asia Pacific Region of World Customs Organisation was held virtually last week on the 6th and 7th of April. Among other things, India projected its Customs response plan for expedited clearance of Covid-19 vaccines and also our willingness to share information within the region in our program for pre-arrival data exchange with participating administrations.
There has been encouraging news from Kolkata on the trade facilitation front. On the 7th of April, our officers cleared the second riverine protocol route for exports from Bangladesh to India. A barge laden with 40,000 cartons of food products started its journey from Palash in Bangladesh and reached Kolkata in eight days after travelling around 710 Kms on the inland waterway. It’s usual journey through the land port would have involved 40 trucks to export the said quantity. On the Indian side, Bills of Entry filed through EDI were fully facilitated by RMS and was cleared at the LCS in Kolkata (TT Shed). The EDI system will now facilitate the trade to file documents remotely.
The ICD, Dabgram, Siliguri, has commenced operations on 12th April, 2021. This is the first ICD in North Bengal and is spread over an area of 24.5 acres. It is EDI enabled with an in-built rail track connectivity. This ICD is expected to cater to the needs of export and import of the hinterland, especially North Bengal and North Eastern Bihar. Further, Siliguri, being a major gateway town for cross-border trade with Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh, could also serve as a hub for clearance of cargo to and from these countries. My congratulations to Chief Commissioner, Kolkata, and his team of officers for the good work done.
On the anti-smuggling front, Delhi Airport Customs deserve appreciation for seizing 4 Kgs of white powder suspected to be Heroin valued at Rs. 28 crore concealed in the bag of a passenger. In our drive against fake invoices and ineligible availment of ITC, CGST Delhi North unearthed fictitious firms generating invoices without movement of goods and thereby passing on inadmissible ITC to the tune of Rs. 94 crore. The efforts of the officers who participated in this effort is appreciated. Our drive against fraudsters shall continue till all those gaming the system are weeded out. We need to also ensure completion of investigations in cases already made in a time-bound manner.
Last week, Member (Admn. & Vig.) had addressed a D.O. letter to all the Zonal Chiefs and Head of the Directorates on the strict time-lines laid down by the CVC for finalising disciplinary proceedings pertaining to Group – A and retired non-Group – A officers of CBIC. In this regard, a review meeting with the CVC is also scheduled on April 19, 2021. I urge the Zonal/Directorate Chiefs to bestow their personal attention and report compliance well in time.
The instructions relating to online writing of APARs in SPARROW-IRS for IRS (C&IT) officers for the year 2020-21 were issued on 24th March, 2021 by DGHRD. The APAR timelines as prescribed by DoPT are to be followed scrupulously. The due date for completion of Self-Appraisal by officers is the 15th of April, 2021. A last minute rush should be avoided. I hope and expect that all the officers would have completed or are in the process of competing their self-appraisal by now.
Finally, let us strictly adhere to the norms of social distancing and personal hygiene as advised to get through this tough phase. Do take care of yourselves and your families.
(M. Ajit Kumar)
All Officers and Staff of Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs