Economy

DRI expanding strength to step up vigil against smuggling

| | Updated on: Dec 12, 2013
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cjart

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bl13_p1_smuggling.eps

In an effort to increase vigil against smuggling and circulation of fake currency notes, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) will double its personal strength.

DRI is the intelligence wing of the indirect tax body, the Central Board of Excise and Customs.

Currently, DRI has 532 officers and staff. This will double with the cadre restructuring of CBEC, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said here on Thursday. Just last week, the Cabinet had approved creation of more than 18,000 additional posts as part of cadre review.

Tax evasion

The Minister also emphasised for better sharing of information among various agencies of the Government to check tax evasion. “I think organisations must come forward to share information with DRI, just as DRI must come forward to share information with other organisations tasked with collecting one tax or other or enforcing one law or the other,” he said while presiding over the foundation day event of DRI.

According to Chidambaram, mass of information resides in Financial Intelligence Unit, PAN data base and in the registration required for excise and service tax for exporters and importers. Mass of information also lies with depositories in the capital market.

“If this information is not shared on need to know basis, I am afraid much of the effort would be wasted,” he said, while adding that organisations must learn to work with each other, and learn to ‘speak’ to each other.

Use of technology

Highlighting the importance of use of technology by agencies like DRI, Chidambaram said: “I think any organisation can change and re-engineer in a very short span of time. DRI should focus on right kind of person, train them in the right way and deploy them in the right way so that there could be maximum use of technology.’’

Trade facilitation

Noting the role of DRI as a trade facilitator, Chidambaram said trade facilitation is the catch word during discussions at the World Trade Organization and many other organisations. Prevention and deterrence against smuggling, fake currency notes and drug trafficking is the other side of trade facilitation, he added.

He mentioned that anything that goes through illegal or illegitimate channels is anti-trade. Any steps or any measures taken to prevent illegal trade or to prevent illegitimate activities actually facilitate trade and that is in fact trade facilitation.

“We want trade to bloom; we want trade to expand rapidly. We must go across national boundaries. That is the only way to keep the world economy going, which is why India supported trade facilitation in the recent Bali meeting of WTO. We strongly support trade facilitation,” he said

>Shishir.s@thehindu.co.in

Published on December 12, 2013

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