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 : [email protected]
Date: 30th November 2021
As I pen my 100th letter to you, it is my last working day as Chairman, CBIC. The journey of 37 years has reached one destination and now seeks a new road to travel on. As I reminisce the past, I recollect a young lad leaving his village in Coastal Calicut, Kerala in 1984 for the distant hills of Mussoorie. Things happened so fast thereafter.
I am grateful to the department for the wonderful opportunities it gave me in my career. The various awards and honours it bestowed upon me. The numerous people I have met who moulded my character. Not my superiors alone but also my colleagues and subordinates. Their love, affection and advice I shall always cherish. When I look back on the journey I have had, I feel a deep sense of satisfaction, pride and accomplishment.
The last two years were a challenging period. Yet we as a department were able to adapt and evolve to meet the rising challenges and grab many new opportunities. Your unstinting cooperation during those extremely difficult days enabled us to not only meet the challenges collectively, but in the words of the Hon’ble Finance Minister, to do so without room for a single complaint. These actions have raised the expectations of government from us. We are seen not merely as Revenue Collectors but as having a bigger role in the Government’s scheme of citizen centric initiatives and service delivery. We must make good of these opportunities to reach out and interact with citizens/taxpayers, especially youth, to understand what are their expectations from the government and frame our service responses accordingly. If calibrated and done well it could metamorphose our service into a useful tool of governance much beyond tax collection.
I take this opportunity to thank each one of you for your love and your cooperation with me. The innumerable messages of ideas and support that I have received in the past two years have made the journey that much easier. I can say that I had a great stint of almost two years at the helm because of the unstinting support from all of you. You had given me the confidence to undertake any responsibility and meet any deadline given by the government with the firm knowledge that it would definitely be accomplished and accomplished well. My faith in you, dear colleague, is unwavering. We form part of a very fine service, one that makes my heart fill with pride. The encomiums that have been showered on you not only by those in power but also by our most important stake holders, our citizens, only reflects this reality.
I must thank all my colleagues in the Board, past and present, for their able guidance and advice during critical phases of the pandemic. Their whole hearted support and timely intervention, and at times hand holding of the field formations during critical junctures, have helped the Board successfully storm over many a crisis.
The spirit of ‘Team CBIC’ must continue and with Shri Vivek Johri as the Chairman of CBIC, the department is in very capable hands. He is a person with vision and clarity of thought. A bold leader who will lead from the front. I foresee the role of CBIC expanding to new areas, under him, in times to come.
As I sit to pen this letter, to express my gratitude in this last letter of mine to you, there is a tinge of sadness in that I will miss your daily company. You made work more enjoyable, and difficult problems, easily accomplished. But I leave with the happiness of re-joining my family, of sharing their joys and sorrows, which I had missed for some time now. Their sacrifices in allowing me the freedom to work without disturbance while they faced the difficulties of life in these pandemic times with fortitude, I salute.
I also take this opportunity to thank the Government, Ministry and the department for having entrusted me with this onerous responsibility. I thank the officers and staff in various wings of the Board, the field formations and the Directorates who made it possible for me to do so successfully.
To Prabakar and Rahul, I say that I’ve truly enjoyed working with you. The loving care you both took of me during my illness due to the pandemic I cannot forget. Your daily presence in the garden outside my room inspite of my specifically prohibiting it, remains etched in my mind. To my personal staff who looked after me as one of their own I must say, because of your contributions to my well-being I’ll always remember my tenure as Chairman, CBIC, fondly.
I wish to express my gladness in having been here and working with you in team CBIC. It has been an honour and privilege to lead the department and more so during the difficult times of the covid-19 pandemic.
Season’s greetings. Wishing you and your families good health and cheer in the future. This is not a ‘Goodbye’, dear colleagues, but a heartfelt ‘Thank you!’.
(M. Ajit Kumar)
All Officers and Staff of Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs