Ref. No. AICEIA/CBEC/2010/08 10.02.2010
Sub: Separate cadre for Customs
Kindly refer to the letter vide F.No. 8/B/85/HRD(HRM)/2009 dated 02.12.2009 & 15.01.2010 wherein it was mentioned that The Chief Commissioners of Ahmedabad and Delhi proposed to create exclusive cadres for Customs in those zones mainly for two reasons – (1) The staff strength allotted to customs work is too inadequate and not commensurate with the work load (2) The Central Excise Staff posted to these Customs formations are inexperienced in Customs work and this is affecting the efficiency.
We also subscribe to the first point that staff allotted to these formations is inadequate and we had also on several instances highlighted this fact. However the remedy is not the creation of separate cadres, but rather, the enhancement of cadre strength.
With regard to the second point, we submit that there is no rationale for such an observation and it does not take into account the changes in customs assessment pattern that has evolved over the years.
The Association opposes the proposals mooted on the following grounds.
1. The Inspectors of Central Excise is the only cadre that works in all the three wings of the Department – viz. Central Excise, Service Tax and Customs. The cadres of Inspector (Preventive Officer) and Inspector (Examiner) though recruited exclusively for doing the Customs work, at the field level, more number of Inspectors of Central Excise are doing customs work that the total strength of Preventive Officers and Examiners. While the total sanctioned strength of Preventive Officers and Examiners are 2222, the number of Inspectors of Central Excise posted to exclusive Customs Commissionerates is 3252. Apart from this, a sizable number of Inspectors of Central Excise are deployed in Customs formations like Airports, minor ports, CFS s, ICD s, & SEZ s falling under an integrated Commissionerate. This would only indicate that the versatile cadre of Inspectors of Central Excise is well equipped to handle the customs work.
2. The Board as early as in 1996 has taken the technical decision to merge the cadres of Central Excise & Customs at the Group B/C level on the specific observation that functional distinction between Central Excise & Customs cadres have ceased to exist. The recommendations of the Bhardwaj Committee and the Chitra Gourilal Committee regarding the merger of these cadres also vouch for this. Hence, the current recommendation on the creation of a separate Customs Cadre goes against the grain of the recommendations of these High Power Committees, which recommendations, the Board expects to implement.An identical demand was made by the Customs Staff Federations before Study Group No. III constituted by the Board for reorganization of the Customs Formations but the same was disregarded by the committee.
1. The so called specialized skill required for customs work is nothing but a figment of imagination. About 50% of the cargo which accounts for the major share of revenue is cleared through RMS without physical examination. The Study Group No. III constituted by the Board for reorganization of the Customs Formations has observed that the post clearance customs audit is not yielding any results and it can be
2. effectively done only at the premises of the importer by the Central Excise/Service tax Audit teams. Not only does the present proposal overlook the observation of Study Group III, it has also totally ignored the fact the customs assessment has moved from transaction basis to record basis and hence the skill level required is the same in Excise and Customs.
3. The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, the premier intelligence agency of the nation saddled with the responsibility if preventing smuggling and commercial fraud does not have a sanctioned strength for Preventive Officers or Superintendent of Customs. This also recognizes the competence of Central Excise who works there for a period of 5 years.
In view of the foregoing, acceding to the current proposal of creation of separate Customs Cadres at Ahmedabad and
Copy forwarded to Madam Reeenuka Mann, Director General, Human Resource Development for information and necessary action.