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MOS for Finance (Revenue) Asks Tax Administrators to be Tax Payer Friendly, Transparent and Play the Role of Facilitator; Confers Presidential Award of Appreciation on 37 Officers of the Customs and Central Excise Department

Shri J.D. Seelam, Minister of State for Finance (Revenue) said that the tax officials should act as a facilitator rather than tax administrators. He said that there is a need to widen the tax base. There is need to simplify the tax procedure and make it more transparent, he added. He said that tax administration needs to be tax payer friendly. Shri Seelam said that tax system should be stable so that entrepreneurs know well in advance about his tax liabilities etc. and make a provision for the same. He asked the Customs and Central Excise officers to frequently interact with all stakeholders, become facilitator and change the public perception about their organisation. He said that tax payment needs to be made a ‘Status Symbol’ in order to encourage tax payers to make tax payment voluntarily.

Shri Seelam was speaking at a function organized here today to mark the Central Excise Day and to hold the Annual Investiture Ceremony for conferment of Presidential Award of Appreciation on officers of the Customs and Central Excise Department, who have been awarded on the eve of the Republic Day, 2013. Shri Seelam, Minister of State for Finance (Revenue) was the Chief Guest on the occasion and Shri Sumit Bose, Finance Secretary and Secretary (Revenue) was the Guest of Honour. The function was also attended by Chairperson, CBEC, Members of the Board and the retired Chairmen and Members of the Board, senior officers of the CBEC, both retired and serving, probationers, representatives of trade and media among others.

Shri Seelam, MoS for Finance later presented the Appreciation Certificates to the thirty seven (37) officers who were conferred the award for “Specially Distinguished Record of Service” in 2013. He extended his compliments to the recipients and their family members who were present in large number. He lauded the role of the Department in trade facilitation and enforcement laying special emphasis on its contribution to the national exchequer.

Earlier addressing the gathering, Shri Sumit Bose, Finance Secretary and Secretary (Revenue) dwelt upon the purpose of commemorating this day and expressed his satisfaction at the pace with which the Central Excise Act has adopted itself to the changes in the Indian Economy. He said that tax laws and procedures over the years were modified to keep pace with the changes in the economy and in order to facilitate the trade. He impressed upon the role played by the Act in creating an enabling environment to sustain the momentum in the economic growth of the country. Shri Bose lauded the initiative of CBEC in implementation of several e-governance projects, especially, the implementation of ACES on the excise side. He asked the tax officials to be open, transparent, tax payer friendly and honest in their dealings. He also exhorted the officers to emulate the sincerity and hard work of 37 awardees.

Earlier in her Welcome Address, Ms. J.M. Shanti Sundharam, Chairperson, CBEC expressed her sense of pride in being a part of such an occasion. While congratulating the 37 awardees, she made a special mention of the sacrifices made by their families so that the officers could wholeheartedly devote themselves to their official duties.

On the occasion, a short film depicting the evolvement of Central Excise Department over the last 70 years was also shown.

The Presidential Award of Appreciation Certificates is announced annually in two categories “exceptionally meritorious services rendered at the risk of life” and “specially distinguished record of service.” The said awards were introduced in 1962 to give recognition to officers of Customs, Central Excise, Service Tax, Enforcement and Narcotics.

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