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@example.com
Vivek Johri, Chairman
DO No. 15/CH(1C)/2023 Dated: 31st July, 2023
It is with a deep sense of satisfaction and fulfilment that I demit office today after putting in 38 long years in this glorious Service. I have been particularly fortunate to have had the opportunity to serve the nation and you as Chairman of the Board in the final leg comprising almost two years.
With your very active support and collaboration, we have been able to accomplish a lot as a team both in the GST and Customs verticals as also in the different functional aspects of each- such as: core operation of revenue collection; trade facilitation and ease of doing business; enforcement and anti-smuggling.
This, in turn, has been possible because many business processes, especially those involving interface with taxpayers have been codified or re-written keeping the latter in mind; reached out very extensively and intensively to taxpayers and stakeholders by keeping the taxpayer services function energized we have worked hard to improve IT Systems; deployed technology in more areas of our work; made use of data analytics for better profiling of cases, persons and cargo for rationalizing the volume of work.
We have also re-invented our systems of goal-setting (Saadhit), performance management (Aankalan and now Pratidin) and inspections to improve ownership and accountability at all levels of management; accelerated the pace of promotions to satisfy career aspirations; planned and executed many infrastructure projects for office and residential accommodation on fast track; and finally, disposed of vigilance matters at an unprecedented pace.
The credit for all this rests surely on your shoulders for showing remarkable understanding and team-spirit in imbibing the organizational goals and working for their fulfilment.
My sincerest gratitude to each one of you for walking in step with me on this journey. My thanks also to those who questioned the direction, pace or methods so that we could pause, ponder and course-correct where necessary. I would be remiss in not acknowledging that our predecessors had already laid a strong foundation for many of these initiatives so that with our nurturing, they could take root and flower.
We have been very blessed also for the constant support and guidance of Hon’ble Finance Minister and Minister of State for Finance at every step. I can never thank them enough for mentoring us and yet giving us space to lay out the strategic path and direction for the organization. My thanks are also due to the Revenue Secretary for his unstinted support.
Working as a taxman has never been easy and, perhaps will never be. It is a tightrope walk where several objectives and considerations need to be balanced all the time. In my career, I have been witness to very deep-rooted reforms, not only in tax policy and the legal framework that provides it flesh and blood but also in societal expectations from us – generally as civil servants and specifically as tax collectors.
Increasingly, the focus has shifted from merely achieving revenue targets to `how’ those targets are achieved. In other words, means have assumed equal salience as the end. I hope I can take the liberty of sharing with you some of my “life lessons” in the hope that they may provide guidance, sustenance and perhaps, even inspiration to at least a few.
Lest I be misunderstood, these are broad principles that have worked for me and not prescriptions of any sort. You may reflect upon them and exercise a free choice in adopting them.
1. Be proud of your work regardless of what it may be and learn to enjoy it.
2. Develop a sense of ownership for the organization and appreciate the significance of what you do
3. Actively and constantly invest in learning your subject. Be open to learning from your peers and juniors. They all have something worthwhile to teach you.
4. Develop a competence level of the highest order so that the organization seeks you out for special responsibilities/ assignments. Have faith that it will happen rather than hankering for certain postings.
5. Observe the highest levels of righteousness and neither “give in” to the so-called “System” nor “give up” on zero tolerance for wrong doing. Some of us do it rather easily.
6. Time is very short. If you have ideas about improving things go ahead and do it now.
7. Treat people with dignity and behave with courtesy. Do not confuse rude or arrogant behavior with firmness.
8. Sit lightly on your chair and let it sit lightly on you.
It has been an absolute joy and pleasure to have served you and to have been a part of this glorious organization.
All Officers and Staff of Central Board of Indirect Taxes 86 Customs