Weekly Newsletter by Chairman CBIC

Despite the fact that most of the States have been under a strict lockdown due to the pandemic, GST revenue collection stood at Rs 1,02,709 crore for the month of May, 2021. It marks the eighth month in a row that the gross GST revenue collection figures have crossed the Rs. 1 lakh mark. This is even after various relief measures for taxpayers in the form of waiver/reduction in interest, etc. on delayed filing of returns for the month was extended. It is a positive indicator of a resilient and maturing tax system buoyed by better compliance by taxpayers.

The last few days has also showcased the sustained performance of our enforcement wings both on the GST as well as the anti-smuggling areas. Vadodara CGST Zone has been, over a considerable period of time, quite proactive in detecting cases of duty evasion and checking the misuse of fake ITC. Now, the Central Intelligence Unit of this Zone, using data mining and data analytics, has made a major breakthrough and unearthed an inter-state racket of 128 fake entities spread over 9 CGST Zones, involving creation of ITC to the tune of Rs. 308 crore approximately. They have also unearthed a second similar racket of the passing on of fake ITC to the tune of Rs. 358 crore by more than 200 fake entities in Ahmedabad, Delhi, Mumbai and Vadodara Zones. Investigations are under progress.

Chennai Air Customs seized 9.87 Kg Heroin from two passengers who arrived at Chennai from Johannesburg via Doha on 5th June, 2021. Heroin was concealed in their stroller bags. Similarly, the DRI, Hyderabad Zonal Unit, prevented major Heroin smuggling attempts in two different cases made on 5th — 6th of June, 2021. A total of 11.95 Kgs of Heroin was seized from the passengers who flew from Johannesburg via Doha to Hyderabad.

DRI, Indore Zonal Unit and DRI, Bhopal Regional Unit, in a coordinated effort, intercepted a truck near Sagar, Madhya Pradesh, on 28th May, 2021, and recovered 3092.38 Kgs of Ganja. Three persons were arrested under the provisions of the NDPS Act, 1985.

DRI, Bhopal Regional Unit intercepted a car and recovered 79 Foreign Origin Gold Bars weighing 7.8 kgs from a specially built cavity of the car. Follow up action led to the further recovery of 1.5 Kgs of Gold and Rs. 64.85 lakh unaccounted cash. Five persons were arrested.

The SIIB, ACC Export Commissionerate at IGI Airport, New Delhi, intercepted consignments declared to contain household articles. On examination, the actual goods were

found to be Apple iPhones, old & used Laptops, Sony Play Stations, Dietary supplements, etc. which were mis-declared in the Air Way Bills. Total value of the detained goods in all the consignments is approximately Rs. 5.67 crore.

My congratulations to the Officers and staff of the above mentioned formations who have detected illicit and fraudulent activities as well as prevented substantial loss of revenue, even during these very challenging times. They have also safeguarded the health of the citizens from the menace of narcotic and psychotropic substances.

While you have been contributing substantially to enhancing revenue collection and preventing tax evasion, in the midst of a raging second wave of the pandemic, your welfare along with that of your families has also received focused attention and numerous initiatives have been taken by the department.

Two tranches of Rs. 5.25 crore and Rs. 5.30 crore toward staff welfare had already been disbursed to the formations for taking preventive and welfare measures for fighting COVID-19. A third similar tranche has also now been approved considering the impact of the pandemic’s second wave. Resources are scarce and hence Zonal Chiefs / DGs and their Commrs / ADGs should oversee the utilisation of the amounts in the most efficient manner.

Last week, approval has also been given to the proposals for grant of ex-gratia financial assistance of Rs. 2.16 crore to the families of 46 departmental employees who had died in harness. The Governing Body of the Welfare Fund also approved the proposal for reimbursement of medical claims of about Rs. 8 lakh incurred by 10 officers/staff on their own/dependents medical treatment which has not been reimbursed under CS(MA)/CGHS Rules. All these amounts should be disbursed to the families of the deceased officials / claimants, by the respective formations, expeditiously.

To ensure that families get ex-gratia payments without any delay in processing and sanction of all claims, especially in obtaining Covid-related death certificates, the Governing body of the Welfare Fund has relaxed some conditions relating to the submission of documents. This is meant to ensure that the next of kin at least receive an amount of Rs. 5 lakh as soon as possible in their time of need. DGHRD shall communicate the relaxed guidelines separately.

On the infrastructure creation / improvement aspects, some proposals funded through the Customs and Central Excise Welfare Fund have been approved, which includes refurbishing of the Departmental Guest House at Central GST Building, Vadodara-II Commissionerate (Rs. 10.52 lakh approx.); setting up of a Canteen at the New Office Building, CGST Comm’rate, Panchkula (Rs. 3.43 lakh approx.) and a crèche at GST Bhawan Kolkata (Rs. 2.86 lakh approx.).

I am happy to inform that a proposal for grant of Rs. 2.74 lakh as Cash Awards to 24 meritorious children of departmental officers and staff for their performance in the 10th 112th standard board examination in 2016, 2017 and 2018 has also been approved from the Fund. My heart felt congratulations and best wishes to the young achievers.

My appreciation to the entire team at DGHRD for expeditiously processing these proposals.

It is heartening to note that field formations have picked up the pace of vaccination of departmental officers/staff and their family members. I am told that camps have been held last week in the office premises or in coordination with hospitals by CGST Ghaziabad Commissionerate, CGST Gurugram Commissionerate, Mangalore GST & Customs formations at Attavar, Custom House, ACC, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad GST and Customs Zone, Bengaluru Central Tax & Customs Zones (through KZRT and Credit Co-operative Society) and Delhi Customs, to name a few.

Readers of my weekly letter have been writing me about their colleagues and subordinates who have been consistently going beyond the call of duty and continue to extend help and support to fellow officers/staff and their family members. In Lucknow Zone, Dr. Shailesh Kumar Singh, Dy. Commr, an MD in Radiology, has been providing much appreciated medical consultation to a large number of Covid-affected employees and their family members. Shri S K Patel, Superintendent also from Lucknow. Zone, has been continuously organising much needed RTPCR testing facility for affected officers / staff at their homes. I am sure there are many more such benevolent officers in other Zones too. My appreciation and gratitude to all of them.

The transfer/posting orders of 844 recently promoted officers from Gr. B to Gr. A have been issued on the 4th of June, 2021.I’ would like to extend my best wishes to these officers as they take up their new responsibilities.

The Monsoon has arrived on the southern coast leading to the emergence of fresh green shoots of hope. May it rejuvenate the earth and bring good health and happiness to one and all as it travels upwards through the country.

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