Pics: Dayanand Kukkaje
Daijiworld Media Network - Mangaluru (ANK)
Mangaluru Feb 17: With a view to help air passengers all over the world with regard to customs rules and regulations, Rajiv Bhushan Tiwari, chief commissioner of customs, Bengaluru zone, on Friday February 17 launched an online customs guide for international passengers at the office of Mangalore International Airport director here.
Addressing the gathering, Rajiv Bhushan Tiwari said, "This is a very good move by customs to ensure that information is available to the international passengers before they leave their country. We have two major international airports, in Bengaluru and in Mangaluru, which is an important airport as it is connected to the Gulf. For the past one decade, we have been emphasising introduction of digitalisation and electronic method of customs where it can reduce the interface between passengers and customs officers.
"Last year we made a study on international passengers to understand the process, transaction and behaviour of the passengers, and we came to know that 89% of the passengers are satisfied with the duty rendered by the customs officers.
"Most of the passengers want the data to be available on electronic platform to know the baggage rules and regulations. With this web portal, we can fulfill the requirement of the passengers. We are available on Twitter and Facebook where every 10 to 15 days frequent questions are asked and also addressed," Tiwari said.
"There has been a tremendous shift in the functioning of the department from what we were earlier to what we are today. There was a time when the rate of duty was 200%, where you could not bring anything into the country. And if you ask people who travelled during the 1970s and the 80s, they will tell you about that the harassment faced from the customs, but today I am happy to say that the number of complaints is virtually nil.
"There is a shortage of warehouses in Mangaluru airport. We have taken up the issue and it will be resolved at the earliest," he added.
Tiwari also unveiled a new scanner at the premises.
Airport director J T Radhakrishna said, "Mangaluru airport has grown ever since the airport became international in the year 2006. At that time, three flights were flying in a week and today the number has grown to 58 flights a week, which is enormous and an indication of continuous growth. Nearly 17 lac passengers flew in the year 2015-16 and we are expecting a 10% growth this year.
"International passengers in Mangaluru are in need of information and this is a very good move by the customs to introduce a web portal which will give them all necessary information and guidelines. Web portal is an important tool today as most passengers are internet savvy and therefore can clarify their doubts regarding rules and procedures," he added.
Mangaluru customs commissioner Subramanyam, customs additional commissioner Reena Shetty, deputy commissioner Pravin Vinod and others were present.
Online guide for customs: www.customsmangalore.gov.in/baggage