A FFFAI delegation led by Mr. Shankar Shinde, Chairman, FFFAI welcomed the Chairman, Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) Mr. Sanjay Kumar Agarwal, IRS, on August 29, 2023 at the Board office in Ministry of Finance, North Block, New Delhi. Also participated in the delegation were FFFAI Chairman Elect Mr. Dushyant Mulani, Vice Chairmen Mr. Rajesh Verma and Mr. Amit Kamat, Hony. Secretary Mr. Vinod Sharma, Hony. Treasurer Mr. Sudhir Aggarwal and Advisor Mr. S. Ramakrishna. Primary objective of this meeting was to update on trade facilitation through speedy Customs Clearances.
Mr. Agarwal has a strong background in the Ministry of Finance itself. An officer of the 1988 batch of the Indian Revenue Service (Customs & Indirect Taxes), he has worked in various capacities in Customs, Central Excise, Service Tax and GST field formations. He has diverse experience of working in intelligence and investigation formations of the Department, as well as Directorate handling IT backbone of the Department. He headed the Directorate General of GST Intelligence (DGGI) prior to his elevation to the Board. He has also headed the Directorate General of Systems prior to that. Mr. Agarwal has vast experience of heading major Custom Houses and Air Cargo complexes at Chennai, Kandla and Mundra Ports. He remained instrumental in piloting many new initiatives on Ease of Doing Business at these locations.
The FFFAI delegation was happy to welcome the new Chairman, CBIC, which was a good opportunity to interact with him. Mr. Agarwal has rich experience in Customs matters and it would benefit the trade tremendously. The FFFAI leaders highlighted the measures to enhance Customs clearances through various joint initiatives on Policy reforms,Faceless assessment, IT Hardware and Software System, streamlining Participating Government Agencies (PGAs) under SWIFT towards Ease of Doing Business (EODB), Time Release Study (TRS), Training and Skill development in EXIM Trade and to present a paper in achieving Government endeavors.
FFFAI team also updated the CBIC Chairman on current status/pain areas of policy implementation and Customs IT systems. At the same time on behalf of the Federation, FFFAI Chairman Mr. Shankar Shinde reiterated full cooperation to Customs by providing regular feedback on field formation from 31 Member Associations of FFFAI across India at various Customs jurisdictions in the country to achieve top position of World Bank's Logistics Performance Index ranking.
The FFFAI Chairman highlighted the milestone achievements of FFFAI pertaining to facilitation of exim trade during the last 61 years, since its inception in 1962. He also emphasized on the close collaboration between Indian Customs and FFFAI to increase international trade, thereby contributing towards the country’s economy. He pointed out recent collaborative initiatives viz support to cargo clearance through Customs digital initiatives i.e launch of CBLMS and ECL mechanism in the ICEGATE System. FFFAI also took pro-active initiative in providing feedback from all its Member Association locations on the National Time Release Study aiming to reduce dwell time to the optimum level.
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