Trade Hails role of Customs in Facilitation & EoDB
Marking the Interna-tional Day of Customs, the custom Commissionerate of the Vizag zone along with various stakeholders of the ports and shipping community, exporters/importers celebrated the occasion by awarding some of its top exporters and importers.
The international customs day is celebrated on the 26th of January every year.
As part of the celebrations the customs department gave out awards to some of its highest revenue generators for the last fiscal i.e. FY22.
In the PSU category HPCL was given the top importer award, for paying customs duty of Rs 1300 crores during the financial year 2021-22 which was received by Mr Raja Bahadur, Head of Finance department, HPCL.
Similarly in the PSU category exports, the award was given to RINL for being a top exporter in FY 222021-22 and for paying customs duty of Rs 5500 crores.
Mr VV Venugopal Rao, Director (Finance) of RINL received the Award on behalf of RINL(Full List of Awards Page 12).
Playing the role of a Facilitator
Officials of the customs department highlighted the many initiatives being undertaken at the department in order to enhance the ease of doing business parameters. Addressing the gathering Chief Commissioner Mr Sanjay Pant cited some of those initiatives and underscored the department’s growing role of being a facilitator and promoter of trade.
Quoting Chanakya the Chief Commissioner said ‘For a law to be good it has to be simple’. This is what we truly believe in and are truly aligned with. The customs Act is one of the simplest and easiest to understand, said Mr Pant.
He further emphasised that the department believes in minimum disputes and seamless functioning of trade.
Members of the trade fraternity lauded the role of the customs department in simplifying trade and for promoting trade.
‘I have truly seen the customs department evolve over the past 40 years of my services in the Ports and shipping sector. The customs department today has a clear focus on trade facilitation.
I can quote numerous instances wherein whatever issues we had were resolved at the earliest. This was not seen before’ said Mr GJ Rao, CEO, Southern ports, APSEZ.
The chief guest on the occasion, Mr Atul Bhatt, CMD, RINL too applauded the role of the customs department and the gratifying work being done by its officers.
‘The customs department has truly become a trade facilitator from just being an enforcer and regulator’ said Mr Bhatt.
Speaking on the turnaround of Vizag steel plant in 2021-22 the CMD said that the Customs department played a key role in this with its customer friendly approach. RINL he informed pays Rs 859 crores every year as customs duty.
Highlighting some of the achievements of the department Custom Commissioner, Mr Engineer, IRS spoke on speedy disbursal of export benefits and completing provisional assessments for having maximum impact.
‘On the drawback front with an ambitious target set of disbursals of 90% claims in less than 3 days. I am very happy to inform you that in December 2022 the Vizag zone has reached 85% disbursal in less than 3 days and has been among the few custom zones across the country to come close to the target’.
The customs commissioner also noted that Faceless assessment groups (FAGs) the zone has been among the better performing zones in the country in various parameters such as percentage clearance under 12 hours, minimum query percentage of dwell time of clearance etc.
He also appreciated the work done by the Vijayawada Commissionerate on the preventive side and said there have been all time high seizures of illegally imported cigarettes and smuggled gold.
‘My officers in Vijayawada have in 2022 firmly established themselves as one of the highest performing Customs preventive Commissionerate in the country’ said Mr Engineer.