All Customs, Central Excise and Enforcement Directorate’s offices across the country have been asked by the CBI to prominently display phone numbers of anti-corruption officers to check bribery and harassment of citizens.
The move assumes significance as Prime Minister Narendra Modi had early this year taken strong exception to people’s complaints and grievances related to the customs and excise sector and directed strict action against the officials responsible.
“In order to deal more effectively with complaints of corruption against public servants in various agencies of Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, Government of India, it is necessary to pro-actively solicit information from public,” CBI Director Anil Sinha said in a latter to Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia.
Sinha has asked to display details of CBI office concerned, including telephone numbers at prominent public places in all the offices of customs, central excise and ED “in case of demand of bribe”.
“This will encourage citizens facing demands of bribe to instantly report to the local CBI anti-corruption branches,” he said.
All CBI branches are being separately instructed to liaise with local authorities of Department of Revenue for prompt follow-up, the letter said.
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Taking strong exception to complaints and grievances from people related to the customs and excise sector, Modi had asked for strict action against responsible officials during a meeting of PRAGATI–Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation, an IT-based multi-modal platform under which he interacts with top officials of various central departments and state governments via video conferencing–in January.
A total of 1,460 complaints of alleged corruption were received by the Central Vigilance Commission last year against the customs and central excise employees.