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.
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.