Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Revenue
Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs
North Block, New Delhi-110 001
Tel. : +91-11-23092849, Fax : +91-11-23092890
E-mail : [email protected]

24th January, 2022

DO No. 08/CH(IC)/2021

This week we celebrate the International Day of Customs on the 27th of January. My best wishes in advance to all members of the extended Customs family. Indeed, if Borders Divide, Customs Connect!

The theme announced by the World Customs Organization this year is ‘Scaling up Customs Digital Transformation by Embracing a Data Culture and Building a Data Ecosystem’. There couldn’t have been a better time for such a theme. Worldwide, data consumption is growing exponentially. Within the Government, Indian Customs has traditionally been one of the early adopters of digitization. However, with the rapid growth in availability and access to data comes the challenge of how best to distill and refine the data so as to make it an input for enhancing efficiencies and outcomes.

We have already made significant progress in establishing and evolving a centralized architecture for analytics and risk management to aid & assist the field formations. The next step is to build and foster a mechanism and culture wherein each one of us, regardless of the role and function, actively uses this data to inform our work so as to lend greater transparency & objectivity in decision making.

I would urge you to devote attention to data available to you in your respective areas of work and to try to work out ways in which it could be cross-referenced, deployed productively so as to help improve your working. What is important is that this be done not just for the technical aspects of our work but even other functions such a budgeting, HR etc.

As if in preparation for this theme, the week gone by saw the launch of a new machine learning based module in ADVAIT to study and flag variations in assessable value for imports. The Module uses advanced data analytics to study valuation trends based on past import data and flags outliers.

A new suite of ADVAIT reports was also launched this week. The suite includes reports such as HS Level analytical reports for goods and services at the jurisdiction and the GSTIN levels. It is envisaged that these reports will provide crucial inputs for data driven decision making and monitoring at the sectoral granularity. My congratulations to Team ADVAIT at the Directorate General of Systems and Data Management for spurring the field formations to develop a data driven culture and providing them the requisite tools for the purpose.

On the Anti-Evasion front, based on specific inputs from the. Directorate General of Analytics and Risk Management, Nhava Sheva Customs intercepted 47 Containers, declared to contain 1200 MT Anode Butts. However, examination revealed that the goods were used/waste Anode Butts. The import of such hazardous and environmentally sensitive items are restricted and are subject to specified environmental clearances. The case again underscores the role of Customs as the Guardians of the Ecological Frontiers of the Nation. Congratulations to Director General, DGARM and her team as well as officers of Nhava Sheva Customs for their alertness and diligence.

Weekly newsletter from Chairman, CBIC dated 24-01-2022

On the HR front, I am happy to share that in furtherance of CBIC’s digital initiatives, Directorate General of Human Resource Development, has developed and launched an e-Vacancy module for the collection of direct recruitment vacancies for various Group B & C posts in CBIC. The module, which is accessed by all CCAs on the DGHRD website would streamline the compilation of vacancies for direct recruitment in Group B & C cadres. This would in turn ensure timely reporting of vacancies to SSC, a precursor to the expeditious filling up of such posts. Congratulations to DGHRD for this digital initiative which would help in better cadre management.

As the financial year draws to a close, along with a focus on revenue we must also ensure that funds allotted to us are used, prudently and efficiently. The allocation of Revised Budget Estimates for FY 2021-22 has been made to all Budgetary Authorities. It is seen that, for many Zones/Directorates fund utilization has been low in areas such as Minor Works, OE/ Swachhta/IT and Rewards. All these areas have a direct bearing on the efficiency and motivations levels of the organization and the quality of taxpayer services. Zonal Chiefs may like to monitor the same so as to ensure optimal expenditure.

I am happy to note that our Navachar ideas this week also have a digital touch. Dr. Jeetesh Nagori, ADG, Audit, Ahmedabad and Dinesh Kumar Fuldiya, Deputy Commissioner, CCO, Mumbai ­I Customs have, independently, suggested an online collaborative sheet mechanism which has provision for taking inputs from field formations and collating them for effective supervision by the CCO. The online system has dedicated sections for monitoring important areas of work such as Appeals, Review, Regular Reports, Special Watch Matters, Audit etc. Automatic alerts are triggered in cases of delays or pre-defined events. Such innovations help improve our working manifold. Kudos to both the officers. Keep up the good work!

I round out the week by sharing about the unique pictorially informative and mathematical calendars being designed by D Kumaresh, Superintendent, CGST Bengaluru for the last 30 years. The calendars are an interesting mix of factoids and information alongwith dates and months and challenge the viewer to deduce the days and dates. Past calendars have had themes like Indian Inventions, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Major Tourist attractions etc. Keep up the passion Kumaresh!

Till next week!

Yours Sincerely,

(Vivek Johri)

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

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