M. Ajit Kumar
Ministry of Finance
Department of Revenue
Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs
North Block, New Delhi-110 001
Tel. No. : +91-11-23092849, Fax No. +91-11-23092890
E-mail: [email protected]
Date: 28th December 2020
D.O. No. 47/CH(IC)/2020
To infuse the festive spirit in the department. especially at a time when we are looking forward to the beginning of a new, and hopefully much better, year. there could be nothing better than promotions. I am happy to inform that the intent expressed in my first newsletter dated 03.02.2020. on assuming charge as Chairman. CBIC, has been redeemed. The promotion order for Group B to Group A has been issued for the vacancy years 2018 and 2019 today. This should bring cheer to a lot of officers especially those who are nearing retirement after long years of service to the department. I would like to state here that this would not have been possible without the cooperation extended by the Group B officers and their leadership.
Vacancies still remain to be filled for which we need a new seniority list. The Board looks forward to similar cooperation and understanding from all officers in the cadre so that we can move forward in this direction quickly. To further the spread of cheer. the DPCs for promotion of the 2011 batch of IRS (C&CE) officers from STS to JAG grade and 2016 batch of IRS (C&CE) officers from JTS to STS grade has also been completed and the orders are expected to be issued shortly. Promotions to the Apex grade are also at an advanced stage.
All this has been possible due to a huge and sustained effort by Member (Administration & Vigilance), DGEIRD, Commissioner (Coordination) and their team of sincere and dedicated officers. Similar action continues to be reported from all zones. I. on behalf of the Board and the entire CBIC family, wish all the very best to all those who have been promoted and convey our appreciation to the back-room teams that have contributed to this success.
As I pen my thoughts on the eve of Christmas, we are approaching the end of the year 2020. The initial part of the year had seen normal life being thrown out of gear the world over but things have started to stabilize. Customs formations have been, 24 x 7, among the frontline warriors in the fight against Covid- 19 at the airports, seaports, 1CDs, etc. being facilitators of inbound and outbound passengers and goods. The new environment created and the challenges posed by Covid-19 have been immense. A few of our officers have unfortunately lost their lives in these efforts. We remember them with respect and gratitude. This adversity continues to be a huge challenge to CBIC but we arc convening it into an opportunity to showcase our capabilities to adapt and change. It can be proudly stated that due to hard work and team effort. we have been able to meet the challenges to a fair extent. In the same spirit, we have now geared up to ensure the smooth and expeditious clearance of the vaccines being imported to protect our citizens from Covid-19. Instructions in this regard have been finalised and will be issued shortly.
For a quick recap of the year, our commitment to the trade and industry to move to a ‘Faceless. Paperless. Contactless’ environment, even before the advent of Covid- 19. had given us a head start. We were among the first to almost overnight shift the work environment to homes. with the Directorate of Systems facilitating residential connectivity to approximately 12.000 officers of GST formations, allowing near normal work to continue. Next was bringing the whole department to transact its daily work on the e-Office platform. DGPM went ahead to implement it on an all-India basis covering over 500 formations that include the Directorates. GST and Customs offices with over 50.000 users, making us one of the largest such user-organizations. Turant Customs, which had already been launched, saw its implementation pace being quickened. The entire import and export process was automated giving the facility to the EXIM trade to work from home. Then in November ‘Faceless Assessment’ was launched on an all-India basis, totally revolutionising the process of Customs functioning. It’s a proud feeling that in this new normal, brought about by the pandemic. we are pioneering new strategies and showing alternative ways of tackling issues on the global stage.
While fraudsters thought that the lack of mobility of officers was a good time to defraud the system, DGARM took up the challenge of network analysis of risky suppliers. Its Red Flag reports were honed to developing a new tool NETRA (Network Exploration Tool for Revenue Augmentation). With this effective tool, field formations have been empowered to conduct precise strikes against tax evaders. with great success. With the zones pressing ahead with their facilitation and regulator), functions in right earnestness and finding able support from the Directorates, things have been looking up. All this has had a very positive impact on our core function. The collection of revenue has been showing a healthy and consistent rise. This month is expected to keep up the trend. Let us keep on being innovative in our service to the compliant tax payer while squeezing out the non-compliant ones through the optimum use of technology and precise targeting.
A welfare measure I would like to flag is the scheme for yearly medical check-up for all officials (other than Group A, who are already covered) above 40 years in our department. This was a very progressive staff welfare measure adopted by the Board. It’s however seen that the scheme has not fully taken off and many zones are yet to tie up and sign MoUs with hospitals although we already have agreements with CGHS empanelled hospitals and it only involves minor changes in the existing agreements. All we have to do is to go a little extra to ensure that all officers above 40 years are covered under the scheme. The Board would be keen to monitor the progress in this regard. I have requested DGHRD to verify and inform the Board about the progress made.
Before I conclude this year’s last newsletter, I would like to stress the need to take stock of the goals set and the targets achieved during the previous year at a personal as well as professional level. This would surely help us to course-correct and reorient ourselves for the upcoming tasks and challenges ahead. I would also take this opportunity to bid farewell and convey good wishes, on behalf of all of you and on my own personal behalf, to all officers and staff who are superannuating this December.
I had, at the beginning of the month, wished for a warm December. I think you will agree that the warmth of our positive actions and achievements permeate the department as we move forv$ ard into a new year. I take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy New Year. Hope the coming year brings joy and good health to you and to your families.
(M. Ajit Kumar)
All Officers and Staff of Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs