ANI Photo | Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman correlates 60 years of Customs Act to ‘shashtipurti’ – important event in Indian tradition

The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), Government of India, celebrated the completion of 60 years of the Customs Act, ’62 here on Tuesday to mark the enactment of the Act, as per an official press release.
Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Nirmala Sitharaman presided over as the Chief Guest of the event and Union Minister of State for Finance, Pankaj Chaudhary was the Guest of Honour. The 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 Nirmala Sitharaman remarked that ‘shashtipurti’ is an important event in Indian tradition which is marked with solemn ceremonies at home, pondering over the achievements of the last 60 years and taking care of the journey of the next 60 years.
“The 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,” said Finance Minister.
The Finance Minister said, “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.”
Sitharaman also exhorted Customs officers to write about Customs – challenges and how they have handled the same. She also urged the officers to be alert towards the smuggling of drugs which affects future generations and smuggling of the gold, which hurts the economy.
MoS Finance Pankaj Chaudhary traced the history of Customs to Kautilya’sArthshastra, which mentioned charging Customs duty.

Chaudhary highlighted 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 Sanjay Malhotra acknowledged that celebrations such as the 60 years of the 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, VivekJohri, said, “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 the Customs Act will enable officers to deal with future challenges of Trade-based money laundering, e-commerce, 3D printing, Cryptocurrency etc.
According to an official press release, This occasion saw the release of a 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 the tricolour to depict the dedication of Customs to nation-building and facilitation of all EXIM trade.
The occasion also saw presentations by members of the trade and industry who shared their experience with Customs in various facets be it import or export.
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, as per an official press release.

This report is filed by ANI news service. TheNewsMill holds no responsibility for this content.

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