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Fake Invoice Racket of Rs. 3308/- unearthed
Government of India
Ministry of Finance,
Department of Revenue
Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs
North Block, New Delhi – 110 001
Tel +91-11-23092849, Fax : +91-11-23092890
E-mail : email@example.com
Dated: 1st March, 2021
Today is the 1st day of the last month of this financial year and it has dawned with some welcome news. Revenue collection during February was positive once again. Not only has the collection breached the Rs.1 lakh crore level for the 5th consecutive month, it shows signs of sustaining an upward trajectory. Revenue collected on the GST front during February, 2021 stood at about Rs.1.13 lakh crore i.e. almost 7.4% higher than the same month in the previous year. Similarly, the overall collection of indirect taxes is on its targeted course. While this is an indicator of a quick return to normalcy and economic revival, it also reflects the efforts put by departmental officers in improving compliance levels both on the GST and the Customs sides. I am sure each one of you would continue with your efforts to bolster revenue and to exceed the targets set for this year for the Department.
A year ago, in my letter dated 2nd March, 2020, while lauding the efforts of officers on their anti-evasion efforts, I had said “The use of data analytics and risk management in weeding out dubious elements are measures which we need to persist with.” I am happy to note that the anti-evasion teams of Jaipur and Alwar CGST Commission rates have used data analytics to unearth a large case of fraudulent ITC availment, involving fake invoices with a face value of Rs. 3308 crores by several non-existent firms registered in Jaipur. These firms had fraudulently availed ITC of about Rs. 83.37 crore and also passed on ITC of Rs 85.26 crore. So far, eight persons have been arrested and further investigations are in progress. Congratulations to the officers of both the Commissioners.
To further strengthen our analytical capabilities, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed on 09th February 2021 between the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) and the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs. The MoU will facilitate the sharing of data and information between CBIC and MCA on an automatic and regular basis for regulatory purposes. I am sure it would further strengthen the vision of Government for enhancing ease of doing business. This would facilitate and serve the needs of the honest tax payer and also improve regulatory enforcement.
As on 26th February, 2021, there are about 37 GST reports, 20 Customs reports and 3 Data Science models that have been made available on the ADVAIT portal. The Systems Directorate is expected to add many more reports and dashboards in times to come. Systemic improvements and tailor-made reports can be triggered by continuous feedback from the end-users. However, I am informed that the usage of the portal by officers, especially on the Customs side, is very low. I urge the Zonal Chiefs to use the portal for their own monitoring of zonal work and encourage the field officers to make use of the same. Useful suggestions by the CCs and other officers will help tweak the application to meet user expectations.
On the infrastructure front, I am happy to note that the foundation stone for the construction of the Central GST Bhavan, Boisar, was laid on 27th February, 2021. The Bhavan will have a built up area of 3952 Sq. Mts. It will have a basement and 6 floors. On completion it will house 3 divisional officers and 14 range offices of the Palghar CGST Commissioners. It has a budget approval of Rs. 33 crores. In an earlier era, it would also have given location advantage to tax payers. However, with the department pushing ahead with total IT solutions and online redress of tax payer grievances, the building would serve as a nucleus of Divisional formations for online digital services.
Yesterday, I along with Pr. DG NACIN and his team, visited the site for the proposed NACIN Academy at Hindupur, in Andhra Pradesh. It is intended to accelerate action here on a priority mode. When completed, the campus would perhaps be the largest training facility for Government officers. The proposed campus looks promising for running international in-house training courses for fellow Customs officers from Asia and across the globe, housing all modern amenities and training facilities. This would take forward India’s commitment at various international fora.
Retirements are a part of a bureaucrat’s life. This is an occasion for me to recall the services rendered by Shri Ajay Bhushan Pandey, the outgoing Finance Secretary. He demitted office last month on his superannuation after 37 years of service to the nation. He will be remembered for his thrust to IT initiatives of the department especially in the area of data analytics. On behalf of CBIC, I express our good wishes to him for a happy second innings The Board also bid farewell to Shri Jayant Kumar Jha, Principal Director General, on his superannuation this month. He lays down his office after 34 years of service. I wish him well on behalf of the department and on my own behalf. I would also like to take this opportunity to convey good wishes on behalf of the CBIC family to all officers and staff who superannuated in February, 2021.
The onset of spring has been pleasant and gardens are blooming with flowers of rainbow hue. Do take time out with families on a weekend to visit and relax in this soothing environment before the early summer sets in. Meanwhile, take care of your health and that of your family.
(M. Ajit Kumar)
All Officers and Staff of Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs