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CBEC to issue bio-metric cards to custom house agents
February, 27th 2012

The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) said it will issue bio-metric cards to custom house agents to check frauds and misuse of services.

"Bio-metric smart cards will be issued first in Mumbai in all the three Customs zones. Once this is rolled out, a fraudulent person will not be able to file the documents anywhere in the city as his fingerprint will not match and his photo will be flashed across all zones. Also, a wrong person cannot take delivery of the cargo, so this will reduce the incidences of frauds," CBEC chairman SK Goel told reporters here.

He said there were about 10 cases of frauds with regard to contraband selling of red sandalwood which prompted this initiative.

"There were many cases of frauds relating to the red sandalwood, so we thought of this idea," he said.

"We have already prepared 10,000 bio-metric cards for Mumbai and will also make 15,000 more cards for the custom house agents and their employees. So in all, we will be issuing 25,000 bio-metric cards," Goel added.

The cards will also be rolled out nationally after seeing the response here. "Once this system is successful in Mumbai, we will replicate it in other places also. Gujarat and Tamil Nadu have already expressed interest," Goel said.

The CBEC has invested Rs 92 lakh in the project and expects to recover the cost when they issue the cards. The bio-metric smart cards will be issued for Rs 500 each, replacing the earlier laminated plastic cards that were given at Rs 50.

When asked that if the Aadhar cards can be used instead of these smart cards, Goel said, "when the Aadhar card is made available to all the people, then we will think of integrating this with the Aadhar card or develop it on the same model."

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