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Southern States - Tamil Nadu

Cadre restructuring on in Excise, Customs

By T.S. Shankar

CHENNAI June 5 . A nation-wide major cadre restructuring programme is now on in the Central Excise and Customs, according to N. Raja, who is holding additional charge as Chairman of Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC).

``We are working out the jurisdiction of distribution of officers. We have taken up this massive work which is at different stages and we expect the process to be in place by the first week of July'', said Mr. Raja after a review meeting with the Central Excise and Customs Commissioners in Chennai.

The restructuring programme had been thought of because revenue had been increasing over the years, he said.

``This massive restructuring exercise is targeted at covering smaller jurisdiction in order to have better monitoring control and supervision'', he said and pointed out that the CBEC had taken several initiatives to make the Central Excise and Customs ``friendly departments'' by introducing computerisation in a big way.

``We have received a lot of appreciation from individuals and user agencies of the computer-aided measures, such as the IVRS, website, information kiosk and e-mail services'', said P. R. V. Ramanan, Chief Commissioner of Customs and Central Excise.

Asked about the recent spurt in cellular phone seizures the Chennai airport, Mr. Raja said he would have to make a comparative analysis of the recent seizures of cell phones and computer chips in Chennai and Mumbai before arriving at any conclusion. ``So far as the airports are concerned, the CBEC was in the process of strengthening the set-up'', he said.

Mr. Raja, who had a detailed review meeting with the Chief Commissioner of Customs and Central Excise in Chennai and other top brass of the departments, said ``We have got a modernisation programme in place. We would soon have surveillance cameras in airports, x-ray machines and, scanning machines for big containers — all at various stages of implementation''.

``I have given specific directions to the top officials of the Central Excise and Customs in Tamil Nadu to effectively plan the cadre restructuring programme, besides contributing their mite to the image-building exercise'', Mr. Raja said.

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