CUSTOMS LUDHIANA TAKES MAJOR TRADE FACILITATION INITIATIVE DURING CORONA PANDEMIC
AS A TRADE FACILITATION MEASURE NUMEROUS PUBLIC NOTICES WERE ISSUED
Ludhiana: Customs is one of the 22 essential services notified by the Ministry of Home Affairs, New Delhi. Not to be let down by the threat of the corona pandemic during the period the clearance of goods was handled by the Customs Ludhiana 24x7. A step by step initiative to resolve the problems being faced by the trade was launched under the guidance of the Commissioner Customs, Shri A.S. Ranga. During the first phase the curfew passes were got issued from the District Administration. Subsequently, the district administration was considerate and granted the authorisation to issue curfew passes to the Customs Ludhiana.
Customs Ludhiana has been issuing curfew passes so as to ensure the guidelines issued from time to time. All categories of service providers like, Customs House Agents, Custodians, Shipping Lines, Labour contractors and Surveyors have been adjusted and are given curfew passes to ensure smooth functioning and ensuring that a minimum number of people are present.
As a trade facilitation measure numerous Public Notices were issued. This ensured the smooth transportation of containers of essential commodities. Most important of all the late filing fees in respect of bills of entry was waived off. This proved to be a major relief to all importers and they saved a substantial amount which would have otherwise been added to their cost. Paperless movement of documents was ensured and the importers had to upload their import documents only on E Sanchit. As trade facilitation measure an amount of Rs. 96.15 crores was sanctioned as IGST refund involved in 2309 shipping bills and an amount of Rs. 31.36 crores was sanctioned as Drawback involved in 6770 shipping bills to exporters w.e.f. 20th March 2020 till date. A special drive under the Assistant Commissioner (Refund) has been launched to further facilitate the sanctioning of claims of IGST refunds/drawback.
While discharging the above duties it was also ensured that proper hygiene levels are maintained in all offices of Customs. The entry of the offices is allowed after thermal scanning and sanitization of the visitor/staff. The vehicles entering the premises are sanitized. Fumigation of the office and premises is regularly being got done with the help and support of the Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana. A wellness committee has also been constituted under the chairmanship of the Joint Commissioner Ms Parul Garg. The committee is looking after the day to day needs of the customs Ludhiana and is ensuring that optimum hygiene standards are maintained during the period of the pandemic.
Mr. Ranga also urged everyone to strictly follow the guidelines as laid down by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare regarding social distancing, use of masks & gloves and regular hand wash. As far as possible, everyone should stay at home and stay safe to break the COVID chain.