Our Ref. No. 110401 dated 11.1.11.
1. We present hereunder two matters for suitable action please:-
2. Invariably in all Government offices, all communications received are registered in the Register for Inward Correspondence, action taken after placing it in the respective file and all outgoing correspondence are entered in the Despatch Register.
3. However, letters requesting permission and other similar matters received from the importers or Exporters, mostly through Custom House Agents are handed over in person to the DC in the Custom House. Neither Dated Rubber Stamp for receipt at the office is affixed nor Inward Correspondence Number is assigned for the same. The DC writes down a cryptic ‘permitted’ on the face of such letter and puts the initial thereunder. The Shed Officer performs the work as permitted by the DC and gives back the paper to the Importer or CHA who takes it away. No ministerial staffs are involved in the entire proceedings to open a file or to put up any Note for Orders. There is literally no trace left at the Custom House in respect of the permission given, under which the Shed Officer had done the work other than in the routine course.
4. The officers are not aware of the relevant provisions or procedure but follow such an unsafe and improper practice. CBEC has published ‘Central Excise Circle and Divisional Office Procedure Manual’ containing among other things the procedure for Receipt, Filing and Disposal of Correspondence, Registration of papers received etc. CBEC may please publish in CBEC Website, the procedure for receipt and disposal of correspondence in the Custom House to make the Customs Officers to henceforth follow them.
5. The second point is regarding the Appraising Manual. It is seen that most of the Groups or Branches of the Custom House do not have a copy of the Appraising Manual. Moreover, almost all the contents of the Appraising Manual have become obsolete. As such, we find that officers have their own way of doing most of the work without any uniformity. An updated Appraising Manual is an urgent need which may also be published in the CBEC Website as early as possible please.