Implements slew of customer grievance redressal mechanisms
Viskahapatnam Custom House has seen a substantial surge in its revenue collections for the first 8 month of this fiscal compared to the same period last year thereby signalling a much-anticipated rebound in cross border trade and shipments.
With the jurisdiction of Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation, Visakhapatnam Seaport, Visakhapatnam International Airport, Visakhapatnam Special Economic Zone, Visakha Container Terminal Ltd., Container Freight Stations [CFS] and Gangavaram Seaport Visakhapatnam Custom House saw its revenue collections increase from Rs 7330 crores in April-Nov 2021 to Rs 10,996 crores in the first 8 months of this fiscal i.e. FY23.
‘There has been a 50% surge in our revenue collections for the April-Nov 2022 period compared to the same period last year’ said Mr K Engineer, IRS Commissioner, Custom house Visakhapatnam speaking exclusively to Vizag Industrial Scan.
Mr Engineer attributed the increase in revenue collections to a significant growth in coal and fertilizer shipments during this period.
|Along with enforcement there is a clear focus on trade facilitation. We therefore work very closely with the trade & seek their inputs.
Mr K Engineer, IRS, Commissioner,
Custom House Visakhapatnam
Some of the top companies that contribute to the department’s overall revenue collections include HPCL, SAIL, RINL, India Potash and Coromandel International.
Keen Focus on Grievance Redressal Mechanisms
Highlighting some of the new initiatives at the department the custom commissioner emphasised on the importance of driving a collaborative approach with all stakeholders.
‘We are very clear that logistics costs need to be significantly brought down and we have a keen focus on trade facilitation.
Grievance redressal mechanisms
Available to Trade:
We therefore work very closely with the trade here and seek candid feedback which could further help us improve our services’ said Mr Engineer.
The Custom Commissioner slots an open hour every day wherein customers with a pertinent issue or hurdle can just walk into his office anytime between 2pm-3pm.
‘Trade should have confidence in us. Along with enforcement Trade facilitation too is paramount for us’ noted Mr Engineer.
As part of this drive and ease of doing business the Custom House has been implementing several grievance redressal mechanisms.
Take for instance the department’s Turant Seva Kendra (TSK) mechanism which has been well appreciated by trade. TSK takes up the issues of delay in clearance of bills pending at both FAG and PAG levels as well as with RMS facilitated bills.
‘Any importer/exporter can approach the TSK officer for any issue faced in respect of import/export consignments. This facilitates customs clearances thereby reducing dwell time’ cited Mr Engineer.
Another mechanism for the benefit of trade is the anonymised escalation mechanism (AEM) wherein the identity of the customer is protected. Under AEM grievances can be submitted anonymously and it also enables users to track the status of grievances thereby enabling quicker clearance of goods.
Similarly, the E-Helpline mechanism is for trade to get their grievances redressed in respect of any assessment/procedural delay/system issues related to customs.
CPPGRAMS is another online platform to lodge grievances which is a single portal connected to all the ministries/departments. With these trade facilitation mechanisms in place coupled with growth in shipments the department is looking to close this fiscal with revenues of Rs 17328 crores (as compared to Rs 12246 crores in FY22) which Mr Engineer opined is well on its track in achieving it.