The Government of India appointed M Ajit Kumar, a 1984 batch IRS officer hailing from Kozhikode, as Chairman of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC). “The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment,” said an official release.

CBIC, Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance is responsible for the formulation of policy relating to levy and collection of Indirect taxes namely, Customs duty, Central Excise duty Central Goods and Service tax. CBIC also exercises overall supervision over Customs, Central GST field formations located across the country.

Mr Kumar who earlier was a Member (Administration and Vigilance) in CBIC has worked in many capacities in his 36-year long career, including Directorate of Vigilance in New Delhi; Directorate of Revenue Intelligence in Mumbai. He was the Principal Chief Commissioner of GST Zone for Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and Principal Chief Commissioner of Customs zones in Chennai.

He was honoured with the Presidential Award for Distinguished Record of Service in 2005. As Chief Commissioner Chennai Customs Zone (2017-19), he initiated many trade facilitation measures and received two major awards. These include Exim Service Award for Trade Facilitation instituted by the Tamil Chamber of Commerce from Vice President of India, South East Air Cargo Conclave Award as ‘Trade Facilitator of the Year’ during the year 2018.

As the new Chairman, Mr Kumar’s immediate responsibilities will include accelerating the Goods and Services Tax (GST) revenues and to deal with the changes introduced in customs duties in the Union Budget.

Mr John Joseph was the interim chairman of CBIC before Mr Kumar took charge.