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
M. Ajit Kumar, Chairman
Date: 30th August 2021
Last week, the Hon’ ble Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, visited Mumbai and interacted with the officers of CBIC. Secretary (Revenue) and I were present during her interaction. She appreciated the Department for having worked tirelessly during Covid-19 times and the commendable work done in ensuring seamless passage of critical material. She also stated that collection of over Rs. 1 lakh crores of GST revenue on a monthly basis would not have been possible without the exemplary work of GST officers. She, however, wanted us to ensure that cases, especially those involving seizures, were quickly investigated under ciose supervision so that they were taken to their logical conclusions without any delay.
In a fillip to ease of doing business and to better our services to taxpayers, the payment of customs duty on the Express Cargo Clearance System (ECCS) for courier imports, has been enabled through the ICEGATE e-payment gateway. This has been done in coordination with the offices of RBI and Pr. CCA. It provides the trade with an additional option of paying Customs duties through any scheduled commercial bank by NEFT/RTGS mode. I congratulate the WZU unit and ICEGATE teams of DG Systems for this good work.
On the anti-smuggling front, uncovering a unique modus operandi, Customs officers at lGI Airport, New Delhi recovered about 950 Gms of 24K gold, valued approx. at Rs. 46.67 lakhs, from 2 Uzbeki passengers coming from Dubai. The duo had concealed the gold in fake gold dentures on molar and pre-molar teeth. Their speech was slurred because of the heaviness of their fake dentures which gave the concealment away.
There is some good news on the HR front. The temporary sanction of 2118 posts of Assistant Commissioner was due to expire in December, 2021. This would have caused hardship to our promotee officers. The Board had taken up the matter regarding the continuation of these posts, with the Department of Expenditure. It is a matter of great satisfaction that this proposal has been accepted by the Department of Expenditure for a further period of two years from 19.12.2021 to 18.12.2023. In yet another developmer recruitment of Havildars that has been long pending, has also been given a partial green signal. Department of Expenditure has agreed for the revival of 2940 posts out of the deemed abolished posts of Havildars. This is in addition to the 763 vacancies that fell vacant during the past two years. CBIC’s proposal to club the examination of direct recruit Havildars with that of MTS to Staff Selection Commission has also been accepted by SSC. This paves the way for CBIC to recruit 2940 revived posts of Havildars in addition to the existing vacancies in the coming year.
At the NACIN campus at Palasamudram, Hindupur, a ‘Plant and Adopt Scheme’ (PAS) has been conceptualised by the Pr. ADG, NACIN, Bengaluru. Under the scheme, 2-3 acres of land within the campus has been earmarked for visiting officials to plant a sapling and adopt it for an amount of their choice. NACIN will put their frames on the plant and nurture it for them. This was inaugurated by Member (Admn.) on 26th August, 2021 and the first group of ten IRS Officer Trainees to visit the campus have also planted saplings on 28th August, 2021.
While Board continues to strive for the betterment of its officers and staff, it is important for officers to honour their duties and obligations. The last date for submission of APARs for self-appraisal for the APAR cycle 2020-21 is on 31′ August, 2021. I am given to understand that out of 77125 PARs created in SPARROW-CBIC, 17704 PARs were still pending for completion of self-appraisal till evening of 29th August 2021. DGHRD has furnished a Zone/Directorate-wise list of the number of PARs that are yet to be submitted. This is a matter of concern as it affects the career prospects of officers. Not filing ones self-appraisal form in time, may result in Reporting Officers giving their views/comments without the benefit of a self-appraisal. Zonal Chiefs should ensure that due attention is paid to this matter and officers in the pending list act quickly to complete this work.
Being the last letter of the month, it is time now to turn our focus on the officers retiring this week. Shri Sandeep Mohan Bhatnagar, Member (Customs), is one of the two Members of the Board who is retiring. He is superannuating after an illustrious career of 37 years of service to the nation. His achievements are many. He has had a long stay at the Board and policy-making was his forte which included serving as Secretary to the ‘Task Force on Direct & Indirect Taxes’ under the Chairmanship of Shri Vijay Kelkar in 2002. The Department will remember him for leading his team to a long list of reforms, but perhaps one of the most notable contributions by him is towards the Turant Customs’ platform. Faceless, Paperless, Contactless Customs is a very futuristic idea conceived and crafted by his team which has stood us in good stead during the difficult Covid times and has become a mantra to guide us in our future endeavours. At a personal level too, I will miss the benefit of his discipline, sagacity and support.
Shri 0. P. Dadhich, Member (Investigation), too demits office after a 35 year long glorious career. He is a very humble person who has conducted himself with grace and dignity. This trait was his strength as he shouldered a long and successful stint in steering the intelligence wings of the department. A keen sportsman, I had the pleasure of seeing him play and win a rigorous game of badminton with dassion just a few days before his superannuation. His work-life balance, epitomised by his dedication to office work balanced perfectly with his involvement in sports, is an example to be emulated by young officers.
Shri Rakesh Sharma, Principal Chief Commissioner, CGST Mumbai, also steps down from office after an eventful career of 35 years.
On behalf of all officers and staff, and on my personal behalf, I wish both the Members and the Pr. CC very happy, healthy and active retired lives. I also extend my best wishes to all other officers and staff who are superannuating today.
(M. Ajit Kumar)
All Officers and Staff of Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs