Government unveils two new IT initiatives

New Delhi: The government unveiled two new IT initiatives, ICEDASH and ATITHI, for improved monitoring and pace of customs clearance of imported goods. These initiatives will also facilitate arriving international passengers with e-filing of baggage and currency declarations. Launching the initiatives, “Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman lauded the measures taken by the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) to leverage technology for providing better taxpayer services,” according to an official release.

She also mentioned that the significant improvement in India’s global ranking in trading across border is in no small measure on account of the information technology (IT) and other reforms carried out by CBIC. The minister expressed optimism that both ICEDASH and ATITHI would be key drivers for further improvement especially as they reduce interface and increase transparency of customs functioning. ATITHI, she added, would, in particular, create a tech-savvy image of India’s customs and would encourage tourism and business travel to India.

ICEDASH is an “ease of doing business (EoDB) monitoring dashboard” of the Indian Customs helping public see the daily customs clearance times of import cargo at various ports and airports. With ICEDASH, Indian customs have 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, the release said. ICEDASH can be accessed through the CBIC website.

With ATITHI is a mobile app for international travelers to file the Customs declaration in advance. Passengers can use this app to file 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.