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 : firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: 19th October 2020
The week that has passed has seen an impetus being given to both trade facilitation and enforcement.
Last week, I had made an appeal to our senior officers which I wish to reiterate now. We have embarked on ‘Faceless Assessment’, a reformative initiative, at a critical time when the economy is opening up again. This step would benefit both the trade and the department. The system ensures uniformity in assessment practices, mutual exchange of ideas and sharing of knowledge, which in the long run would help in building a knowledge repository. For the trade, expeditious clearance of goods at reduced cost and time coupled with predictability instils a sense of confidence. Such positive outcomes would also improve our ease of doing business rankings. I have alluded in the past to this in my weekly letters also.
While it is generally felt that the IT resources has been robust and is taking care of the change without too many glitches, we need to focus on our Human Resources. Member Customs has been spending considerable time with you and the trade. He and his immediate team in the Board are painstakingly walking you and the trade through the entire changed process and answering your queries. Turant Customs has to be seen as delivering much faster than in the past. The essence of `Turant’ is speed. Eyes of the trade, industry and the Government are upon us.
There has been a very positive response from you all. Zonal Principal/ Chief Commissioners in their reports have informed us about the sincere and dedicated efforts being put in by our officers. The earlier pendency has to a large extent been liquidated. Some major customs formations have also walked the extra mile by working on Sundays to overcome exigencies. Further, to fine tune the system and in the interest of trade, I am told that a feedback on the roll-out of Faceless Assessment and best practices from field formations have been sought by Customs policy wing which I am sure will provide useful and measurable outcomes. My appreciation to all of you for rising to the occasion and fulfilling the expectations of the trade and government’s policy. Let us continue to do the good work and make it a part of our daily routine. We should not be working to liquidate pendency. On the other hand, there should be no pendency at the end of each day.
In our fight against drug menace, narcotics seizures made by Delhi and Chennai Air Customs deserve special mention. Delhi Airport Customs seized heroin weighing 4.79 Kgs and valued at more than Rs. 10 crore that was concealed in jackets from two Afghanistan passengers arriving from Kabul. They have been arrested and the narcotics seized under the NDPS Act, 1985. In Chennai, a courier parcel suspected to contain narcotics substance was intercepted at the Air Courier Terminal. It was destined for Australia and the same was declared to contain spice powder, etc. in branded masala packets of 50 and 100 Gms. On examination of these packets, it was found to contain 3 kgs of Pseudoephedrine valued at Rs. 30 lakh. The contraband was seized under the NDPS Act, 1985 and persons involved have also been arrested. Delhi Airport Customs has also seized 8 bags of medicine and clothes worth Rs. 1.13 crore from Afghanistan passengers at the departure terminal while they were trying to smuggle it out of the country. Also, four detections were made in a single day at Foreign Post Office of 13.4 Kg MDMA, 440 Gms opium and 700 Gms of other narcotics substance by the Air Cargo team and deserves appreciation.
It is also heartening to note that the Commissionerate of Customs (Preventive), West Bengal had made a seizure of gold worth Rs. 2.65 crore, while Chennai Air Customs has made a seizure of gold worth Rs. 2.16 crore. While these hauls are signs of high alertness on the part of our officers, the smuggling syndicates involved need to be brought to book.
Turning our focus now to a clean India, I would like to inform you that the Swachhta Awards for the year 2019-20 have been decided. DGHRD has requested that the winners of the Awards be announced through my weekly Newsletter. I am delighted to inform that Chennai CGST Zone has been selected as the best CGST Zone (For its projects on Organic Waste Management and Rain Water Harvesting). Delhi Customs Zone (For its Projects on Reclaiming of Unused Office Space and Channelization of waste water from Air-conditioners), Ahmedabad Customs Zone (For its Projects on Solid Waste Management and Outreach Activities in Adopted Schools) and Delhi Customs (Preventive) Zone (For its Projects on Better Infrastructural facilities at Government primary schools and Creation of Sanitation Infrastructure in Schools) are the best Customs Zones whereas DGARM (For its Projects on Rain Water Harvesting Systems in Schools and Outreach Activities in Schools) has been selected as the best Directorate under the Swachhta Action Plan 2019-20′. Apart from these Zones/Directorate, two Commissionerates viz. Visakhapatnam Customs Commissionerate (For its Projects on Installation of Compost Machine and Installation of Sewage Treatment Plant) and Aizawl CGST Commissionerate (For its Projects on Outreach Activities in Schools & NGOs and Better Infrastructural Activities in adopted schools) have been chosen as best Commissionerates and another two formations viz. Vadodara (Audit) CGST Commissionerate (For its Project on E-Waste Disposal) & DGGI (Hqrs) (For its Project on Installation of Solar Panel in a school for Blind inmates) have been selected under the ‘Special Mention’ category. The details of the projects adopted by these formations will subsequently be shared by DG (HRD) with all field formations. I congratulate all the winners for their dedicated efforts towards Swachhta and I look forward to ingenious ideas and initiatives from our officers this year as well towards achieving the goal of “Swachh Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat”.
Last week ended on a happy note with four of our officers getting promoted to the grade of Principal Commissioner. My congratulations to them all. Wishing you and your families good health in the week ahead.
(M. Ajit Kumar)
All Officers and Staff of Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs