A k Banerjee : Separation of cadre of Customs and Central Excise of Bhopal Zone from the Nagpur Zone

Separation of cadre of Customs and Central Excise of Bhopal Zone from the Nagpur Zone

Formation of three new commissionerate is required in the proposed Raipur zone, which is the need of the hour due to the fact that Bhopal Zone in general, and Raipur Commissionerate in particular, both of which were discriminated in the last cadre restructuring. (i) The criteria for creation of a Commissionerate is a minimum integrated Central Excise & Service Tax revenue of Rs 500 crore per annum and having five Cen Ex & Service Tax Divisions (25 Cen Ex& Service Tax Ranges) for the last five financial years. The said condition was fulfilled by the Cen Ex commissionerate in 2001-2002.    The Income Tax Department already has two Commissionerates in Chhattisgarh, one at Raipur and other at Bilaspur, with a Chief Commissionerate Office at Raipur since 2001 i.e. at the time of last cadre re-structuring.  Findings of the IInd study group also recommended the creation of integrated CE & ST Commissionerate having revenue PLA + CENVAT of Rs 2,000 crore. Creation of more than two integrated Commissionerate of Customs, Cen Ex and Service Tax The revenue of last five financial years of Raipur Commissionerate is enough to suggest that it can be bifurcated into more than two Commissionerates with the Chief Commissioner Office at Raipur having jurisdiction over the state. This will go a long way in removing stagnation in different cadres. This zone is among the very few (approx. three) zones in the country where inspectors, even after 20 years of service, are awaiting their promotions in the next cadre.  Had the facts been considered in 2001-2002, the stagnation would not have been so acute in the zone. Further, the creation of separate Commissionerate at Bilaspur along with Raipur will not only be convenient for the assessee but the department would also have an effective control over the units and will have a positive impact on revenue realization. The Central Excise/ Service Tax revenues as well as geographical aspect of this region strongly support the proposal of creation of additional commissionerate, one preferably in Bilaspur (Chhattisgarh covers of 135237 Sq km consisting of 18 districts).
Creation of Bhopal Zone in general and Raipur Commissionerate in particular has been repeatedly  pointed out by the Raipur  zone  Association of  customs  and Central Excise officers  as the same has  been discriminated since the last cadre restructuring which is elaborated as under:
Prior to 2002 the Central Excise Revenue of Raipur Commissionerate was as under :
From the above facts   it is amply clear that the Raipur Commissionerate (only in the State of Chhattisgarh which has average growth rate of 10.89% for the last five years and which is having vast mineral resource i.e. approx. 20% Iron Ore deposit 27% Coal reserve, 12% dolomite reserve of the total resource of the country and which produces apporx. 16% Mineral Product, 27%  Iron Steel & Sponge Iron, 30%  Aluminium and 15% Cement of the country and thus having a potential of rapid Industrialization was deprived of the creation of at least one more Commissionerate in the year 2001-2002 itself.
The findings of IInd study group had also recommended the formation / creation of integrated CE & ST Commissionerate having revenue PLA + CENVAT of Rs.2000 Crores. Raipur is a justified case for creation of three integrated Commissionerates of Customs, Central Excise & Service Tax.  The revenue of last seven financial years of Raipur Commissionerate given below is enough to suggest that Raipur Commissionerate can be divided into three Commissionerates with the Chief Commissioner Office at Raipur having jurisdiction over the State of Chhattisgarh.  This will go a long way in removing the stagnation in different cadres.
Had these facts been considered in the year 2001-2002 i.e. last cadre restructuring the stagnation would not have been so acute in the zone.  This Commissionerate needs immediate re-organisation to undo the injustice done in the last cadre restructuring, the details of revenue realized as given  below  is sufficient to proof  to justify the demand of  formation / creation of integrated CE & ST Commissionerate.
The Details of revenue realization for the last seven years.
(Rs.in crores)
At Raipur, recently the Ministry of Commerce & Industry has taken a major step to set-up SEZ in Solar Energy Sector to be developed by M/s. Lanco Solar Pvt. Ltd. in Rajnandgaon District of Chhattisgarh State.
There is also a proposal for creation   of Dry port at Raipur  since Chhattisgarh state has become a power hub of the country.  Huge Power Projects are being setup mainly in Raigarh, Korba and Janjgir districts.  Similarly  Essar, Tata Steel and NMDC are in the process of setting up plants in the Baster District.  The Bhilai Steel Plant, Bhilai is in the process of expansion from 5 million MT to 7.5 million MT within two three years. Due to introduction of duty on coal from March 2011 the revenue as well as workload has been increased manifold.
Raipur had also been declared as the International Air Port vide letter  F.No.520/20/2010-Cus-VI, New Delhi dated 27.05.2011.  Further Raipur is well connected to all the important cities in the country.
Looking into the aspect of work load and revenue Raipur Commissionerate have been allotted / sanctioned 20 Audit parties vide letter C.No.IV(16)CCO/BZ/Audit/14/2006/ 4561 dated 26.07.2006 of CCO Bhopal. A separate Commissionerate for Audit in Raipur has been proposed in the Member(P&V) letter F.No.8/B/69/HRD(HRM)/ 201 dated 29.08.2011. In addition to the above the regional unit of DGCEI can be upgraded into  a zonal unit.
In Orissa two Commissionerates were created at Bhubaneswar I & II in last cadre restructuring though the Industrial growth in Chhattisgarh state (came into existence in the year 2000) as well as revenue was more than Orissa.   Now  Orissa from one Commissionerate prior to 2002 after this cadre structuring come through, will have 3 Central Excise Commissionerates- 1 Customs(Prev)- 1 Audit Commissionerate- 1 Cadre Control, practically the state will have 5 Commissionerate  and accordingly the allocation of staff will be more.
Regarding staffing in a Commissionerate the norms fixed by the CBEC should be maintained as it is a fact   that  in the past that  several  Commissionerate having heavy work load and Revenue have been provided with least  number of Inspectors and Superintendents reasons best known to CBEC.
It has also been gathered that only two Commissionerate have been proposed in Chhattisgarh with a Chief Commissioner Office at Raipur and a new Commissionerate at Jabalpur under the jurisdiction of the Chief Commissioner Raipur. when the present Raipur Commissionerate has  potential of being divided into three Commissionerate then  it appears to  be unfair to  club  Jabalpur  Commissionerate with proposed Raipur Zone  and there is a urgent need for a  separate Zone for Chhattisgarh with three Commissionerate at Raipur, Bhilai and Bilaspur.  The cadre of Nagpur Zone ought to  be separated from the present Bhopal Zone in the ensuing cadre restructuring.
The sanctioned strength of Superintendents in Raipur Commissionerate is 88,   whereas the other Commissionerates of this zone is having 120 or more Superintendents despite the fact that the Revenue collected by Raipur Commissionerate is approximately twice then the revenue of other three Commissionerate of this zone taken together.   Raipur Commissionerate have been provided with least number of Superintendents which is probably   the reason that  Raipur  Commissionerate is functioning with only four divisions since 2002 though the proposal of formation of two new divisions at Raipur   bases upon the workload  is pending since 2005.

 Further, in the ICT order No.15/2011 dated 25.04.2011 instead of increasing the sanctioned strength, the working strength of Raipur Commissionerate was reduced.    
 Thus without waiting for the ensuing cadre re-structuring i.e. formation of new Commissionerate, the strength of the Superintendents in Raipur Commissionerate must be increased to a minimum of 120 (at par with other Commissionerate of this zone including Nagpur Commissionerate) and accordingly the strength of Inspectors needs to  be raised in the ratio of 1:2 (Superintendents : Inspectors).
Hope CBEC will look into the matter immediately to provide justice to those Commissionerate whose Revenue collection is more with lesser number of officers and will ensure Proper allocation of Superintendents/Inspectors based upon the revenue            and workload.