Mumbai: 2,200 Customs, Excise officers get promotions as retirement gift

Most officers either retired within days or are on the verge of retiring after the promotion order was issued on October 22 by the Central Board of Excise and Customs chairperson, who herself retired on October 31

Promotion is probably one of the two sweetest words a working person would like to hear during his or her career, the other being increment.

It has been learnt that 2,200 superintendents working for the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) across the country were promoted to the rank of Assistant Commissioner (AC) this Diwali. Almost 10 per cent of these promotions were from the city. Of these 200 elevations, nearly 50 officers were deployed at the international airport.

The person credited for these promotions, which were bestowed after a long absence of 12 years, is Shanti Sundharam. She retired as the CBEC chairperson on October 31. A Customs officer deployed at the international airport said, “Sundharam had promised the staff that she would elevate officers, whose promotions were due. She fulfilled her promise and gave it as a Diwali gift to them.”

However, most of the officers who were elevated either retired within days of receiving the promotion or are on the verge of retiring. mid-day spoke to few of the promoted officers to understand their viewpoint.

Nester Fernandes, who retired after 10 days of being promoted, said, “I worked for the Mumbai Customs for over 35 years and had joined as a Preventive Officer. The last promotion I received was 17 years ago. I couldn’t enjoy the latest elevation for even a fortnight, as I retired on October 31. The promotion order was issued on October 22. However, even this wouldn’t have happened if not for the former chairperson.”

S S Gill, who will be retiring in February 2015, said, “It is sad that the decision has come at the fag end of our careers. But nonetheless, it feels great learning that I will be retiring as a Class A officer.”

S K Dey said, “My retirement is due on December 31, which means I can work as an AC only for few months. After giving 37 years of my life to the service, I feel rewarded. But the decision should have come earlier.”

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