Chief Commissioner, CGST, Customs and Central Excise, Guwahati Zone, Yogendra Garg has flagged the “increasing flow of narcotics in the North East and the country as a whole” as the major challenge for the department.
He said that institutionalizing personal expertise and inter-generational transmission of this is of utmost importance so that “mistakes need not be repeated.”
During his inaugural speech to celebrate the International Customs Day in Shillong today, Garg referred to his own experience when he joined the department as a young recruit. He said when narcotic were seized the perception then was that these were in transit to some other third country, “but now this has changed as the country and the region have themselves become consumers” of the contraband.
Garg stressed that the customs department has to also orient towards the social aspect of the drug menace which is enveloping the society by increasing its social engagements along with its traditional work.
“When the customs department started out it was probably more about revenue collection, but now due to the changing circumstances in border management, the customs role as the guardian of the country against illegal goods is gaining far more importance,” he said. The department has to be on its toes to keep pace with all the new challenges of crime and at the same time be a smooth facilitator of international trade and commerce, he added.
He said that the time has come to go beyond the ‘mechanical’ role of the department and recognize the talents of the officials and channelise special talents to make the department better able to deal with the 21st century scenarios. “I feel strongly that investing in human capital will pay the biggest dividends” he said.
The celebration was held under the aegis of the Commissioner of Customs (Preventive) (CCP) North Eastern Region, Shillong under the theme, “Nurturing the next generation: Promoting a culture of knowledge sharing and professional pride in customs.”
Commissioner Customs (Preventive) Shillong, Abhilasha M. Basaiawmoit stated that the International Customs Day, instituted by the World Customs Organisation (WCO) is held every year on January 26, by all the members.
India became a member of WCO on February 15, 1971. Since as a nation, January 26 is devoted to the Republic Day celebrations, Indian Customs celebrates the occasion on January 27 every year.
Field Officers of the Customs Preventive North East Region, CGST, BSF, Assam Rifles and DRI shared their experiences on the challenges and achievements while guarding the borders and enforcing the Customs Act as part of the celebrations ‘Capacity Building and Knowledge Sharing Programme.’
The programme was also attended by senior dignitaries including the Chief Commissioner Income Tax, Vice Chancellor of North Eastern Hill University, Inspector General of Border Security Force (BSF), retired officers of CBIC, Consul General of Bhutan, and other senior representatives from partner agencies of Customs Department such as Income Tax Department, Assam Rifles, BSF, newly recruited inspectors of CBIC, faculty and students of NEHU, and also senior government officers of other departments.
Leave a Reply