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 : ajit.m©gov.in
Date: 26th April, 2021
While the country continues to battle the Covid pandemic, the government has accelerated measures to ensure that essential and critical lifesaving supplies and vaccines are quickly made available to the common man. In this connection, exemption has been extended from Basic Customs Duty and Health Cess to oxygen, oxygen-related equipment, ventilators, Covid-related vaccines, etc. vide notification No. 28/2021- Cus dated 24.04.2021. It is absolutely imperative that these goods are cleared expeditiously. It is encouraging to note that each Zone has quickly, on the very same day, appointed a nodal officer at the level of Joint/ Additional Commissioner(s) to attend to any issue that may arise on a 24*7 basis. At the level of the Board, Joint Secretary (Customs) will be the Nodal officer who will monitor and coordinate the hassle-free clearances of critical goods across the country.
Chief Commissioner, Mumbai — III Customs Zone, has issued a Public Notice containing a template for stakeholders seeking urgent clearances of Covid-related imported goods. This would simplify and help monitor the clearance process of such essential imports which are in compliance with specified standards, etc., as may be applicable. The said chart has been incorporated on the CBIC website by DG Systems. Trade should make use of this facility where needed.
Keeping in mind the need of the hour, Kolkata Customs swung into action and made emergency and timely arrangements to facilitate clearance of imported ISO containers for oxygen storage and transport at Indian Air Force Base, Panagarh. This action has also come to the notice of the Hon’ble Finance Minister who has tweeted to state, “Need of the hour. Facilitation and smooth passage for life saving materials is absolutely critical. Keep the good work going”.
In the midst of our fight against the pandemic, DRI has continued its focus on anti-smuggling activities. It had gathered specific intelligence that a consignment declared as wooden logs with cocaine concealed in the container was reaching Tuticorin port on 20.04.2Q21. Officers of DRI Chennai Zonal Unit intercepted the container which is part of a consignment of 6 containers declared to contain wooden logs. On examination, 302 white coloured ‘bricks’ suspected to be Cocaine were found, having a total weight of 303.403 Kg.
Congratulations to the Pr. Director General and his team. The officer who gathered this information requires a special mention of praise. This is the kind of information and meticulous work we have come to expect from DRI. A lot of hard work remains in unravelling the chain of events from Panama through Europe and to our backyard at Tuticorin. I am confident that DRI will leave no stone un-turned in bringing the guilty to justice.
Customs officers at FPO, Chennai, have made a seizure of 46.8 Kgs of Khat leaves worth Rs.1.17 crore under the NDPS Act, 1985. The said postal parcels arrived from Nairobi Kenya and the goods were declared as dried spices, rosemary, etc. One person has been arrested. Well done Chennai Customs!
This being the start of the last week of the month, it is also time to bid farewell, on behalf of all of you and on my own behalf, to Shri Ajay Jain, Member, CBIC, who would be superannuating this month after an illustrious career and service to the nation for 36 years. He has been a valuable colleague and his meticulous approach and thoroughness in understanding of law has served the Board well. I also extend my best wishes to all officers in various cadres and ranks who would be superannuating this month.
Daily, with a heavy heart, we hear news about the challenges and disruption caused by the pandemic to the lives of officers and staff and their families. As a service we have done well to hold hands and have come out strongly in supporting one another. At the same time, we need to continue to follow the basic protocol for safe social behaviour during these pandemic times. Wishing officers and staff and their families good health and cheer.
(M. Ajit Kumar)
All Officers and Staff of Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs