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: 19th July 2021
It is said that in any organisation quality is everyone’s responsibility. It is very satisfying when an independent assessor assesses the quality of our collective work and the results show a very high degree of compliance to benchmarks. Then everyone, both policy makers and field officials share the rich reward of satisfaction for their work, equally. I am happy to share a testimony to our commitment to trade facilitation measures in the United Nation’s Global Survey on Digital and Sustainable Trade Facilitation, 2021.
This report is published once in 2 years. It is an international survey report that exclusively deals with Trade Facilitation. In its report released on 14’h July, 2021, there has been a remarkable improvement in India’s ranking on Digital and Sustainable Trade Facilitation. The survey has evaluated 143 economies in terms of trade facilitation reforms covering 5 indicators viz. Transparency, Formalities, Institutional Arrangement and Cooperation, Paperless Trade and Cross-Border Paperless Trade. On these indicators, India has shown exceptional improvement in comparison to 2019. The score for India has seen a significant swing from 78.49 % in 2019 to 90.32 % in 2021. From the reports, it is seen that India is among the best performing country when compared to South and South West Asia region (63.12%) and Asia Pacific region (65.85%). The overall score of India has been found to be higher than many OECD countries. The overall score has also been higher than the average score of EU. The survey has captured the robust and bold reforms carried out by CBIC in the previous two years: Transparency: 100%; Formalities: 95.83%; Institutional Arrangement and Cooperation: 88.89%; Paperless Trade: 96.3% and Cross-Border Paperless Trade: 66.67%.
The National Committee on Trade Facilitation (NCTF) headed by the Cabinet Secretary and housed by the CBIC has been overseeing many of the stated reforms and was the primary respondent in the survey. My hearty congratulations to all policy makers in the Board along with the Directorates and officers and staff in the field for this remarkable achievement. This effort in improving facilitation levels is even more greater as it has been achieved largely amidst the pandemic.
Adding a fresh impetus to trade facilitation, the Drawback Directorate along with DGARM has put in place a procedure for processing Duty Drawback claims under the a risk- based procedure. As per the circular issued on 15th July, 2021, the Risk Management System (RMS) will process the shipping bill data after the Export General Manifest (EGM) is filed electronically and help ICES select Shipping Bills for risk-based processing of duty drawback claims. This should help trade get the drawback amounts faster and greatly help them during this period of scarce liquidity.
Nhava Sheva Customs had recently launched a mobile X-Ray scanner (MXCS) in June, 2021 which is in addition to the one launched earlier in March, 2021. It is part of non-intrusive inspection and yet another trade facilitation measure that uses advanced technology to make clearance processes quicker and simpler.
On the anti-smuggling front, officers of ICD-GRFL, Sahnewal (Ludhiana), diligently examined a consignment of Heavy Melting scrap, which resulted in the discovery and detention of 39 New Radio Frequency Antennas, 13 Used Radio Frequency System Antennas and 2 used Antenna receptors, which were not declared. These equipment’s are regulated as per licensing provisions of DGFT. In another case, the officers of ICD Tughlakabad, Delhi Customs detected a case of mrs-declaration of 223 old and used photocopiers, as parts of hydraulic pumps.
In a major breakthrough on FICN, Kolkata Customs has affected a seizure of fake Indian currency notes worth Rs. 26 lakhs from Bankura, West Bengal had been illegally smuggled into India. Three persons have been arrested.
The officers of DRI Mumbai Zonal Unit have uncovered a luxury car smuggling racket allegedly involving the misuse of diplomatic privileges. Around 20 luxury cars were imported during the past five years, in the name of diplomats and then sold domestically to buyers, thereby evading duty @ 204 % amounting to about Rs. 25 crores. Three persons have been arrested so far. The detection of this racket reinforces DRI’s ability to detect and combat unique and sophisticated methods of smuggling.
DRI Regional Unit of Pune, acting on intelligence, intercepted a truck carrying fresh fruit. Examination of the truck resulted in the seizure of 1878 Kgs of Ganja that was concealed below jackfruits and pineapples in 40 HDPE bags.
The sustained action against fraudulent elements trying to game the GST system have also resulted in good cases last week. DGGI Hqrs has made a case of mrs-classification and GST evasion to the tune of Rs. 100 crores by Meat Processing Industries and Slaughterhouses who have allegedly mis-declared ingredients for poultry feed as poultry feed itself. They have recovered about Rs. 7.61 crores. The DGGI Gurugram Zonal Unit and DGGI Pune Zonal Unit, in two different cases of mis-classification, detected GST evasion of Rs 196.52 crores and Rs 67.63 crores. Automotive companies / OEM manufacturers were misclassifying instrument clusters thereby evading 10% GST liability.
In the drive against fake Invoices, DGGI Nagpur Zonal Unit detected fraudulent ITC availed to the tune of Rs. 222.09 Crores. DGGI Meerut Zonal Unit detected a case of passing on fraudulent ITC to a number of fictitious firms of around Rs. 409 crores and made some recovery as well. Follow up action is going on in all these cases. DGGI Bengaluru Zonal L nit reported a case of a construction material supplier who has availed fake ITC orth Rs. 31.8 crores without actual receipt and supply of goods. The officers were able to recover almost Rs. 30 crores.
The large number of cases being detected show that investigation teams are effectively using network analysis tools like NETRA and BIFA to plan strikes with great effectiveness. My hearty congratulations to all the officers who had contributed to the successful detection of cases last week. Some cases could not be included due to paucity of space.
In overcoming the unprecedented challenges of quickly inoculating humanity by expeditious release of temperature-sensitive vaccines at the borders, CBIC has proactively put in place a COVID Response Plan (CRP) for speedy clearances of COVID-19 vaccines at all major airports, for both imports and export. This includes import/export through courier mode. A flyer containing details has been issued by the Customs Policy Wing last week.
On the HR front, I am happy to share that the much-awaited Cadre Restructuring proposal, which was initiated in 2019 by DGHRD and which has gone through a detailed consultation exercise with officers and staff, has been submitted to DoPT last week. It should, when implemented, meet the dual aspirations of timely and assured promotions while reorganising the department in a manner that will meet the new challenges ahead.
During the last week, Departmental Screening Committee (DSC) meeting was held to consider the case of 40 officers of 1992 batch of IRS (C&IT) for grant of Non-functional Up-gradation (NFU) w.e.f. from the due date.
Two transfer orders, covering the Pr. Commissioners and Commissioners as well as officers of certain Directorates were issued last week as a part of the AGT. I extend my best wishes to all officers who have a change of assignment in their new roles.
Wishing you all good health and cheer.
(M. Ajit Kumar)
All Officers and Staff of Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Custom