‘Use of tech making Indian tax system more efficient’
Union minister of state for finance and corporate affairs Anurag Singh Thakur on Monday said the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC)’s use of technology for greater efficiency, accountability and transparency in the tax administration helped India in improving its rank in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business index.
In the ever-changing dynamics of trade and technology, it is necessary for the taxmen to remain innovative to facilitate stakeholders, he said while addressing CBIC officials at ‘Investiture Ceremony and International Customs Day 2020’.
“We have witnessed a critical rise in India’s standing in the Ease of Doing Business rankings,” he said referring to the contributions made by the CBIC in improving systems and processes pertaining to the cross-border trade. With concerted efforts of the CBIC, India would further improve its Ease of Doing Business ranking, he said.
India climbed 14 notches to the 63rd position among 190 countries in the World Bank’s Doing Business 2020 report that was released in October 2019.
Speaking at the ceremony, revenue secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey emphasised on enhancing trade facilitation and the role of other stakeholders, including other government agencies.
CBIC chairman John Joseph highlighted recent initiatives of the customs for enhancing trade facilitation in line with the Action Plan for implementing the Trade Facilitation Agreement of the World Trade Organisation ratified by India. He complimented customs officers for their work especially in the area of preventing smuggling of environmentally sensitive items, flora and fauna.
“Officers of the CBIC are fully committed towards hassle-free trade and taking India to newer heights in Ease of Doing Business rankings.”
Thakur gave away awards to CBIC officers and staff for their meritorious services on the occasion. The Presidential Award of Appreciation and the World Customs Organization’s certificates of merit were also presented to the distinguished officers of CBIC.
“These officers have displayed exemplary performance in their respective fields of service over years,” Joseph said.
In 1962, the government instituted the Presidential Award to recognise meritorious services of the customs and Central Excise Department officers. The award is given to them for rendering meritorious service that even involves risking their lives.
Thakur appreciated the response of customs officials to the dynamics of changing ecosystems worldwide. “Customs are doing well because they work as a team besides adapting and evolving, especially in a large and diverse country like India,’ he said.
He said the 2020 theme of International Customs Organisation itself highlights the changing nature and role of customs today. The theme of International Customs Day, celebrated on 26th January every year, is dedicated to the contribution of customs towards a sustainable future where social, economic, health and environmental needs are at the heart of our actions, with the slogan “Customs fostering Sustainability for People, Prosperity and the Planet”.