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 : firstname.lastname@example.org
M. Ajit Kumar
Date: 05th July 2021
The 4th Anniversary of the launch of GST was celebrated across the country on the 1st of July. The highlight of the departmental celebrations was the messages of the Hon’ble Finance Minister and the Hon’ble Minister of State for Finance expressing their appreciation to taxpayers for overcoming the challenges posed by two waves of the pandemic and quickly reviving economic activity, commending the staff for the work done in the year gone by – both in the area of facilitation and enforcement, recognizing more than 54,000 GST taxpayers on their contribution to nation building and congratulating the GST Day Awardees. The Hon’ble Finance Minister exhorted the department to make the enhanced revenue collection in the recent months the ‘new normal’. Earlier, she had released the booklet `Shraddhanjali’ paying homage to the memories of employees lost due to Covid 19.
Shri Bibek Debroy, Chairman, Prime Minister Economic Advisory Council, in his keynote address during the GST day function, highlighted the gains made by GST although it was still a work in progress. I convey Board’s appreciation to Chief Commissioner, Delhi CGST Zone and his team of officers from CGST Delhi North Commissionerate for the successful event and also the other Zonal Chiefs and their teams for successful conduct of similar functions across the Zones.
On the Anti-Smuggling front, based on an alert by NCTC (National Customs Targeting Centre), and in a coordinated action, SIIB officers of Mumbai Customs Zone-II, DRI (MZU), DRI (LZU) and DRI (ARU), examined 2 containers imported at Nava Sheva, with declared cargo of semi-processed talc stones. They found, hidden among the cargo, 293 Kgs (approx.) of Heroin contained in six gunny bags. This is among the largest drug haul in recent times. One person has been arrested.
In this backdrop, positive focus has come on the nascent NCTC and the work done by it. NCTC comprises of a dedicated back room team of officers, identifying risky entities/transactions based on comprehensive risk evaluation. For this, they leverage modem technologies, including Machine Learning, MI, data analytics, and Advait. Apart from the case above, some of the notable detections/seizures this year, based on their risk-analysis and targeting abilities, include the seizure of 29.84 lakh cigarettes at ICD Ludhiana, 43.40 lakh and 21.60 lakh cigarette sticks – both at JNCH, 2.kgs of high-grade marijuana in a courier parcel at Delhi, two-container load of photocopier machines at Mundra, and two-container loads of truck tyres at Kolkata. The NCTC team has been doing it’s work quietly but effectively and it’s work merits appreciation.
NCTC has also been generating analytics reports, pointing out non-compliance, including short/non-levy of duties in respect of cleared consignments, for targeted actions by field formations. I strongly encourage all the Commissioners to act on these reports and send timely reports to NCTC, to complete the feedback loop and strengthen their analytical abilities.
In other anti-smuggling action, Jodhpur Customs seized 20 containers containing 360 MT of watermelon seeds with the declared value of Rs. 1.66 crore (approx.) imported from Sudan in violation of DGFT Notification No 03/2015-20 dated 26/04/2021, which restricts import of watermelon seeds. The fraud appears to have been perpetuated showing the date of shipment earlier than the notified date for availing benefit under the transitional provisions i.e. para 1.05 of Foreign Trade Policy and by obtaining/creating fraudulent Bills of Lading, Phytosanitary Certificates and proforma invoices to show past payments made as advance payments. Investigations are on.
Another interesting interception was of 107 live spiders seized by Chennai Air Customs from a postal parcel that arrived from Poland. The same has been deported to the country of origin based on the recommendations of Animal Quarantine.
On the GST front, by innovating and using the recently introduced `RFID-Vehicle related Report’, an analysis of risky vehicles was undertaken by the officers of DGGI (SZU). The verification revealed that iron scrap was being supplied by existent but un-registered firms under the invoices for GST ITC of non-existent and bogus firms. Envelopes recovered from the drivers of the detained trucks contained the invoices of fake firms whose invoices are used for passing of ITC as well as the firms actually supplying the goods. The total ITC passed on by the above-mentioned non-existent firms is Rs. 14.48 Crore.
In another instance, the officers of DGGI, Chandigarh Zonal Unit uncovered a tax-evasion modus on 04.07.2021 by conducting searches at Chandigarh, Kurukshetra, Sonipat and Tohana (in Haryana) wherein chewing tobacco was being cleared clandestinely in the guise of unmanufactured tobacco. During searches various incriminating evidences including electronic devices were found. In addition, unaccounted cash amounting to Rs. 10 crore was also recovered from the office cum residential premises of the proprietor. Admitting the fact that the firm has been involved in evasion, a voluntary payment of tax and cess amounting to Rs. 10 crore (cash) has been made by the taxpayer till now. Further investigation is on.
My appreciation to all the Officers and Staff concerned in all the above operations.
CBIC through the DGHRD has from time to time devised and administered schemes to maximize employee potential. It has initiated appropriate welfare measures so to meet aspirations and needs of our high performing workforce. Taking a step forward and for the purpose of making welfare related information readily available at one place, the Board released the first edition of ‘Compendium of Welfare Schemes, 2021’ on the occasion of 4th GST Day celebrations. I urge all of you not only to go, through it but also to show the electronic copy to your families as it contains valuable information for family welfare. I would here also like to mention the cooperation received from the entire department for publishing the booklet `Shraddhanjali’ in a record time. It was a fitting tribute to officers who have left for their heavenly abode due to the pandemic. My appreciation to the team of officers ably guided by Member Administration and led by DG, DGHRD for the good work in putting together both the compilations and to the DGTS – PWC team for designing the books. A special mention for ADG, I&W Ms. Sucheta Sreejesh and Shri Gurusharan Kumar, AO for the time and effort taken in compiling the data, liaising with all teams and ensuring publication on time.
Further, last week on the staff welfare side, proposals from DGHRD relating to ex-gratia financial assistance of Rs. 1 crore to 28 families of departmental employees who died in harness, including deaths due to Covid-19, were approved. All these amounts should be disbursed to the officials / claimants, by the respective formations, expeditiously.
My congratulations to Mr Rajiv Talwar on getting promoted as Principal Chief Commissioner and Mr. J. S. Chandrasekhar for his promotion as Chief Commissioner. I wish both the officers the very best in their new roles.
As always, my best wishes to you and your families.
(M. Ajit Kumar)
All Officers and Staff of Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs