Last week week I inaugurated the DGGI Annual Conference of DGs/ADGs for the year 2021 at Mumbai on 01/11/2021. Senior officers of DGGI from across the country had met to discuss and share their thoughts on important GST related compliance and tax evasion issues. These included strengthening of enforcement mechanism, the menace of fake invoicing including those in services, transport monitoring mechanism and issues pertaining to seizure and arrests. The deliberations during the conference, it is felt, will provide key policy inputs to the Board and help in ensuring better compliance.
Simultaneously, on the trade facilitation front, guidelines for scrutinising proper availment of Input Tax Credit under Rule 86A of CGST Rules 2017 have been issued by GST Policy Wing on 02/11/2021. The guidelines inter alia lay the contours of the ‘reasons to believe’ test on objective parameters rather than on subjective consideration. The role of material evidence under Rule 86A has also been clarified. This would bring in clarity and transparency both for officers and the trade. It is also in line with the observations made by various courts regarding the laying down of such guidelines.
CBIC is gearing up in its preparedness on AKAM activities to befittingly commemorate the 75th anniversary of India’s Independence. The ICONIC week allotted for Ministry of Finance is from 6th to 12th December 2021. We are planning to have two major events during this period. The event requiring your active participation is on honouring sports persons i.e. awardees of Padma / Arjuna / Dronacharya awards and those who have won medals at international competitions like Olympics, Asian Games Commonwealth games and/ or other non-athletic international sport of an equal stature, including Paralympic events. This has been informed to the Zones earlier. If you are in this category or know of some departmental officer, serving or retired who does so, immediately inform your / their details to your Sports officers or the JC / ADC (P&V) of your Commissionerate. As the time now left is very short, a quick response is expected from the Zones with names of officers and the awards / medals they have won.
They should communicate the details latest by Tuesday i.e. the 8th of December 2021 to Shri Upender Gupta, Pr. ADG, DGTS. Let us ensure that no one who is eligible is left out from the merit list.
CBIC would also be participating in the forthcoming Trade Fair in Delhi from the 14th of November, 2021. During the fair a few thematic events would be showcased. All those who are or happen to be in Delhi during this period are invited to visit our enclosure. Those interested may also volunteer their services and participate in the events.
During my visit to Mumbai, I got an opportunity to visit and take stock of the progress made in the construction of our Customs enclave at Wadala. This is a prestigious project that is coming up in a centrally located place of Mumbai and is expected to ease and address the office and accommodation needs of our departmental officers. Work is in progress and the foundation laying ceremony for the complex would be possible by early December. Phase I of this project will have six towers housing 10 Commissionerates and 769 residential quarters. It is scheduled to be completed by 2024.
On the welfare front, the Governing Body of the Welfare Fund had approved the proposals for granting financial assistance of Rs. 8.44 lakh for setting up a Gym/Recreation/sports facilities at Customs Commissionerate Hqrs. Indore during FY 2021-22 and Rs 4.06 lakh for setting up of a new canteen at Customs Canine Centre, Attari. It has also approved the proposal for reimbursement of medical claims of about Rs. 13.45 lakh incurred by 11 officers/staff for their own/dependents medical treatment.
Our anti-evasion efforts last week saw Mumbai Central CGST Commissionerate detect a fake ITC case involving Rs. 49 crores, based on data mining. Rs. 24.51 crores has been recovered and one person has been arrested.
Last week Air Cargo Customs, Chennai made a seizure of a large brass Nritya Ganapati idol that was to be exported out of India. Archaeological Survey of India on examination of the statue has opined that the idol is more than 400 years old. This detection has helped save a national treasure from being lost. Madurai airport Customs has seized gold bars weighing 4999.89 grams valued at Rs. 2.42 crore from a passenger who arrived from middle east. Such seizures call for alertness of our officers even at smaller airports having thin international flight operations.
With three months to go before the budget is presented, preparatory work has begun in right earnest. To begin with, Tax Research Unit (TRU) has invited inputs/suggestions relating to indirect taxation from
all our stakeholders. You may also add value to this exercise with contributions of your own through your Zonal Chief Commissioners. Comprehensive suggestions on fiscal changes, both on policy and procedure, you feel would be beneficial for the country are welcome. This should reach the JS, TRU by the 15th of this month. I also hope, as indicated by me earlier, that you have sent your valuable policy contributions to the Pr. Commissioner GST Policy Wing on the subject of GST revenue augmentation and compliance reduction, which is to be placed before the Group of Ministers. A chance to win an award should not be wasted.
It is my pleasure to share with you that a beginning has been made to bring to close a long pending issue of regularization of promotion in various grades of Grp ‘A’ posts. In a major achievement, a DPC was held in the UPSC today i.e. 08th November 2021 for regularization of promotions in the grade of Assistant Commissioner of Customs and Indirect Taxes against the vacancy years 2002-03 to 2012-13. This is a matter of great happness for officers and department alike as it will set the ball rolling for further regularization of promotion right up to the Commissioner level posts and for regular promotions thereafter.
Heavy rains have taken place in Tamil Nadu causing severe disruption to life and more rains are predicted. All officers and staff there, should take maximum care and support one’s colleague or fellow citizen in distress. Departmental assets should also be secured against the ravages of the weather. Do take care.
(M. Ajit Kumar)
All Officers and Staff of Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs