NEW DELHI: Concerned at the brash and heavy-handed behaviour of Customs officials towards the passengers at international airports, the Ministry of Finance has proposed that they be sent to etiquette school. The move comes as part of passenger facilitation drive by the Central Board of Excise & Customs under the MoF to provide a polite welcome for international passengers.
Over the last couple of months, India has been streamlining the visa on arrival facilities for more foreign countries.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his recent visit to the US had announced visa on arrival to US citizens. Currently, the scheme has been extended to 12 countries-- Japan, Singapore, Philippines, Finland, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar, Indonesia and South Korea.
The government has decided that every customs officer has to undergo mandatory training where emphasis would be on polite, proactive manner besides, relevant rules and regulations. The Chief Commissioners of Customs have been directed to organise training programmes at National Academy of Customs Excise and Narcotics but also focus on in-house programmes. These training programmes will be repeated every six months.
“International passengers form an opinion of our country from the way they are treated by the Customs officers. Therefore, there needs to be a renewed emphasis on improving the efficiency of our Customs officers,” the letter to all Chief Commissioners of Customs stated.