The Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Smt Nirmala Sitharaman today unveiled two new IT initiatives – ICEDASH and ATITHI – for improved monitoring and pace of Customs clearance of imported goods and facilitating arriving international passengers by the electronic filing of Customs baggage and currency declarations. Minister of State, Finance and Corporate Affairs Shri Anurag Singh Thakur, Secretary (Revenue), senior officials of CBIC and members of trade and industry were present.
Speaking on the occasion at the CBIC’s DG Systems office here in New Delhi, Finance Minister lauded the measures taken by CBIC to leverage technology for providing better taxpayer services. She was particularly appreciable of the work being done in the Network Operation Centre and Security Operation Centre. Finance Minister also mentioned that the 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. She also expressed 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. She added that ATITHI would, in particular, create a tech-savvy image of India Customs and would encourage tourism and business travel to India. Finance Minister further urged the officers to develop IT-based insights for focused policymaking.
Shri Anurag Thakur commended the work being done by officers of DG Systems, CBIC and 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. He added that 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.
Dr Ajay Bhushan Pandey, Secretary (Revenue) stated that 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. Shri P.K. Das, Chairman, CBIC informed about CBIC’s steps to make the Department more IT savvy with an aim to further improve the ease of doing business.
About ICEDASH & ATITHI :
ICEDASH is an Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) monitoring dashboard of the Indian Customs helping the public see the daily Customs clearance times of import cargo at various ports and airports. With ICEDASH, Indian Customs has taken a lead globally to provide an effective tool that helps the businesses compare clearance times across ports and plan their logistics accordingly. This dashboard has been developed by CBIC in collaboration with NIC. ICEDASH can be accessed through the CBIC website.
With ATITHI, CBIC has introduced an easy to use mobile app for international travellers to file the Customs declaration in advance. Passengers can use this app to file a declaration of dutiable items and currency with the Indian Customs even before boarding the flight to India. ATITHI is available on both, iOS and Android.