Taking cognisance of the complaints registered by fliers, especially foreigners, about the rude behaviour exhibited by the Customs officers, soft skills development training will soon be imparted to all those in uniform and intelligence.

A senior Customs officer said the department would be organising a familiarisation programme at the National Academy of Customs Excise and Narcotics (NACEN) office in Bhandup East.

He added that the action was initiated after a recent internal survey revealed a couple of negatives pertaining to the manner in which the officers functioned.

Principal Additional Director General of NACEN PK Dash claimed that there was nothing extraordinary about the training and such events are conducted on a regular-basis. “One such training programme is already in progress,” he added. Another officer said, “The programme is likely to commence in July. The only reason for its delay is the pending promotion of Class I officers. The focus will be on developing their [officers’] soft skills, especially while profiling passengers.”

Sudhakara Reddy, president of Air Passengers Association of India, said, “Officers must realise that not all passengers are smugglers. The government needs to conduct soft skills development programmes for Customs and Immigration officers alike.”