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India urges nations to work in tandem to combat terror threat, illicit trade

India urges nations to work in tandem to combat terror threat, illicit trade

Kochi, May 8 (PTI) Recent terror incidents in India, New Zealand and Sri Lanka have thrown a challenge in the area of Customs administration in Asia-Pacific region, India said today and urged the nations to work in tandem to combat the menace.Addressing the 20th Conference of the Regional Heads of Customs Administration, Chairman of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) Pranab Kumar Das stressed on timely cooperation to tackle the threats posed by terrorism."The Customs Administration needs to work in tandem with other national and international security agencies to address terrorism," Das, who is also regional vice chair of the World Customs Organisation (WCO) Asia/Pacific, said.Spelling out the focus areas while presenting regional perspective of the WCO, he said the terror incidents in Afghanistan, India, New Zealand and more recently in Sri Lanka "have thrown a challenge and highlighted a pressing need for a greater co-operation and timely cooperation and considered efforts" for meeting such threats.Concurring with India's views, WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya said the Asia/Pacific region has suffered due to terrorist attacks including that had happened in New Zealand and Sri Lanka recently. He said terrorism and illicit trade are very important issues that have to be tackledIndia informed the four-day long conference which began here on Tuesday that Indian customs has undertaken major reforms in the last few years to facilitate cross border trade and expedite movement, release and clearance of goods.These measures have had a salutary effect on the overall transaction cost and time associated with import of goods into and export of goods out of the country. Due to this India has recorded a jump of 23 positions against its rank of 100 in 2017 to be placed at 77th spot among 190 countries assessed by the World Bank in its latest Doing Business Report (DBR, 2019). PTI TGB ROH RT