New Delhi (NVI): Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on November 4 unveiled two new IT initiatives “ICEDASH and ATITHI” to improve monitoring and pace of customs clearance of imported goods and facilitating arriving international passengers by the electronic filing of customs baggage and currency declarations.
The new initiative ICEDASH is the ease of doing business monitoring dashboard of the Indian customs which helps the public to see the daily Customs clearance times of import cargo at various ports and airports. While ATITHI is an easy to use mobile app for international travellers to file the Customs declaration in advance.
Addressing the event at Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC’s) DG Systems office here, Finance Minister lauded the measures taken by CBIC to leverage technology for providing better taxpayer services and appreciated the work being done in the Network Operation Centre and Security Operation Centre.
“Significant improvement in India’s global ranking in the Trading Across Border is in no small measure on account of the IT and other reforms carried out by CBIC,” Sitharaman mentioned.
Expressing optimism that both ICEDASH and ATITHI would be key drivers for further improvement especially as they reduce interface and increase the transparency of Customs functioning, Sitharaman added, “ATITHI, in particular, would create a tech-savvy image of India Customs and would encourage tourism and business travel to India.”
She has also urged the officers to develop IT-based insights for focused policymaking.
The Minister of State, Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Singh Thakur, Secretary (Revenue), senior officials of CBIC and members of trade and industry were also present in the event.
Commending the work being done by officers of DG Systems, Anurag Thakur noted that the ATITHI app will facilitate hassle-free and faster clearance by Customs at the airports and enhance the experience of international tourists and other visitors at our airports.
“The CBIC must strive to use technology in each sphere of its activity and while facilitating genuine business it must identify ways to detect and stop frauds especially in GST,” Thakur added.
Meanwhile, Secretary (Revenue) Ajay Bhushan Pandey said, “Technology is key to improving governance in today’s times and acknowledged CBIC’s efforts in bringing technology to the forefront while also being serious about information security.”
Also, the chairman of CBIC, P.K. Das informed about CBIC’s steps to make the Department more IT savvy with an aim to further improve the ease of doing business.