An association of Indian Revenue Service officers has argued for adjoining the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) with the Finance Ministry to ensure a smooth functioning of customs and FDI-related works. Currently, DIPP is part of the commerce ministry.
It said there is a plan afoot to dilute the present functioning and role of customs, which is under the Finance Ministry, through a new Business Process Restructuring (BPR) proposed by the DIPP in the guise of increasing ease of doing business.
In the new proposed and already approved plan, Department of Commerce will front end customs Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) system by controlling the present stakeholders of customs like ports, airports, Customs House Agents, importers, and exporters, RBI, all the other government departments, the association said.
“Customs will loose the present identity of ICEGATE (a portal that provides e-filing services to the trade and cargo carriers and other clients of customs department) and the single window which we have already created painstakingly spread over a period of over 25 years and will become the hidden backend under Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) or Department of Commerce controlled portal,” it said in a representation to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
In the future scheme of things, instead of the present customs having the lead role coordinating 30-35 major agencies where DGFT or Department of Commerce is one of the agency, the role will be turned upside down and customs will become one such agency, said the association, which has about 2,000 officers of Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise) working across the country.
“DIPP be brought under Central Board of Excise and Customs instead of Ministry of Commerce,” it demanded.
The DIPP is entrusted with responsibilities relating to the formulation of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy and promotion, approval and facilitation of FDI, among others.