CBIC celebrates completion of 60 years of Customs Act, 1962
Union Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman correlates 60 years of Customs Act to shashtipurti – an important event in Indian tradition
CBIC unveils Mascot “Officer Hans” symbolising purity and knowledge of Customs
Medallion representing commitment to serve and safeguard the country through all three modes i.e. air, sea and land also launched
The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), Government of India, celebrated the completion of 60 years of Customs Act, ’62 on here today to mark the enactment of the Act.
Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman presided over as the Chief Guest of the event and Union Minister of State for Finance, Shri Pankaj Chaudhary was the Guest of Honour. Chairman, CBIC, Members of the Board of Indirect and Direct Taxes and Customs and senior officials from the Ministry of Finance were present on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, Union Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharamanremarked that shashtipurti is an important event in Indian tradition which is marked with solemn ceremonies at home, pondering over the achievements of last 60 years and taking care for the journey of next 60 years. Robustness of the Customs Act was on display when during the difficult times of Covid-19 all the consignments, whether of big or small companies or individuals, were facilitated.
The Finance Minister said that Customs officers have to be ready for newer technological challenges and should act as leaders to show the world how they have been able to overcome modern and newer challenges.
Smt. Sitharamanalso exhorted Customs officers to write about Customs – challenges and how they have handled the same. She also urged the officers to be alert towards smuggling of drugs which affects the future generations and smuggling of the gold, which hurts the economy.
MoSFinance ShriPankaj Chaudhary traced the history of Customs to Kautilya’sArthshastra, which mentioned charging of Customs duty. ShriChaudharyhighlighted the role played by Turant Customs which is faceless, paperless and contactless, in the facilitation of trade. He hoped that the Customs officers would be in a position to check the smuggling and leakage of revenue harnessing the rapid advancement in technology.
Revenue Secretary Shri Sanjay Malhotra acknowledged that celebrations as 60 years of Customs Act are not only events to celebrate achievements but also to introspect. He wished that Customs officers will keep on performing duties to the best of their abilities.
In his address on the occasion, Chairman CBIC, ShriVivekJohri, said that Indian Customs has reengineered and automated various business processes. The Indian Customs has been able to manage all three tiers with aplomb that is revenue collection, border control and trade facilitation. The electronic clearance process has helped in expeditious clearance with effective enforcement. He expressed faith that Customs Act will enable officers to deal with future challenges of Trade based money laundering, e commerce, 3D printing, Cryptocurrency etc.
Earlier, Member, Customs,Shri Rajiv Talwar, in his welcome address, mentioned that Customs Act has enabled new innovations, such as creation of dry ports (ICDs) so as to make available requisite goods for manufacturing activities in the hinterland. He further remarked that the Customs Act was resilient as well as adaptive.
This occasion saw the release of Mascot for India Customs. This mascot (Officer Hans) is the majestic blue Swan which symbolises purity and knowledge of Customs. The ability of the bird to extract milk from a mixture of milk and water represents the ability of Customs to differentiate between good and evil and to identify and prevent illicit activities of smuggling, narcotics, duty evasion etc.
A Medallion for Customs was also released. All modes of transport whether sea, air or land are represented in the medallion alongwith tricolour to depict the dedication of Customs to nation building and facilitation of all EXIM trade.
The occasion also saw presentations bymembers of the trade and industry who shared their experience with Customs in various facets be it import or export.
Mr Sunil Singhal, President and Chairman- M/s Chemical Systems Technologies, mentioned about the initiatives taken by Customs such as e-sanchit, faster clearance through risk based interventions and faster disbursal of refunds including drawback.
Mr.Shubhankar Bhattacharya, Vice President -Tax and Mr Kannan K Deputy General Manager- Customs & FTP- M/s Bosch mentioned about the benefits of reduced time and cost that theAEO programme has provided to their business operations. This internationally recognized certification helps them to be considered as a reliable and secure global trading partner, with attendant advantages.
Mr.Shankar Shinde and Mr. DushyantMulani from Federation of Freight Forwarders’ Associations in India chronicled the benefits of landmark change brought about through implementation of Faceless assessment. It has substantially reduced dwell time of import clearance by bringing about anonymity and uniformity in sectoral assessment.
On the occasion, ashort movie was also showcased that displayed the work done by the Customs in securing economic integrity of the country and depicted the wide reach of Indian Customs.
The Compendium on Ease of Doing Business Reforms undertaken by CBIC was also released. This is an initiative to put in one place the details of various trade facilitation initiatives. The Compendium is a handy guide that traces the reforms journey that Customs laws and procedures have made over the last few years.
The collage of various activities was also displayed to showcase the vibrancy with which the Customs field formations had commemorated the occasion during the week starting from 5th December till today.
Ms.Aruna N Gupta, Chief Commissioner, Delhi Customs Zone delivered the vote of thanks and acknowledged the partnership with taxpayers and the efforts of everyone in making today’s event a successful one.