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Chidambarm awards customs officials at annual Investiture ceremony
February, 06th 2013

The annual Investiture Ceremony for conferment of Presidential Award of Appreciation Certificates to officers of the Customs and Central Excise Department, who have been awarded the certificate on the occasion of Republic Day, 2012, was held today on 5th February, 2013 at Zorawar Auditorium, Manekshaw Centre, New Delhi.

Finance minister P Chidambaram was the chief guest on the occasion and S S Palanimanickam, minister of state for finance (Revenue) was the guest of honour.

The Presidential Award of Appreciation Certificates is announced annually in two categories - "exceptionally meritorious services rendered at the risk of life" and "specially distinguished record of service." The scheme was introduced in 1962 and also includes officers of Enforcement and Narcotics.

The finance minister presented the Appreciation Certificates to the thirty five officers who were conferred the award for "Specially Distinguished Record of Service" in 2012.

He extended his compliments to the recipients and lauded the role of the department in trade facilitation and enforcement and its contribution to the national exchequer. Addressing the gathering the minister exhorted the officers to make every effort to achieve the budgetary target for the financial year 2012-13.

The finance minister called on the departmental officers to take advantage of technological advances towards ensuring a non-intrusive tax administration and promoting a non-adversarial tax environment.

The Investiture Ceremony was followed by a function to make the completion of the 50th year of the Customs Act, 1962. The International Customs Day was also celebrated at the function. The theme for the International Customs Day, 2013 announced by the World Customs Organisation is "Innovation for Customs Progress".

Sumit Bose, revenue secretary presided over the function while Shri Rahul Bajaj, chairman, Bajaj Auto Ltd was the guest of honour.

The chairperson CBEC recalled the journey of the Customs Administration over the years and called upon the officers for fairness of approach and timely action in discharge of their functional responsibilities. She congratulated the officers for the splendid work and exhorted them for attaining the set out targets and give in their best to the department at this crucial juncture.

The chairperson CBEC called for probity and fairness of action on part of departmental officers at all times.

Rahul Bajaj, Chairman, Bajaj Auto Ltd., who was the Guest of Honour on the occasion in his address to the gathering acknowledged that there had been a significant improvement in the import export processes over time. He emphasized the importance of a fair system tough on evaders, so as to ensure that honest taxpayers are not at a disadvantage.

Bose while presiding over the function recalled the changes and the reforms undertaken in Customs and Central Excise administration some of which have received wide acclaim. He pointed out the challenges before the department and the expectations of the public at large for a greater degree of facilitation.

The function was also unique in that all retired Chairmen of the Central Board of Excise and Customs were invited to observe the completion of 50 years of the Customs Act. 17 former Chairmen, present at the function, were felicitated. 14 officers of Indian Customs and two representatives of the trade were presented the World Customs Organisation Certificates of Merit on the occasion.

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