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Background note on CEIB

The Committee of Secretaries (CoS) in its meeting held on 9.7.1984 noted that an “Advance warning system of the functioning of the economy and the response mechanism” needed to be evolved which, mutatis mutandis, could serve the needs of the proposed economic intelligence system. Further the Special Action Committee of Secretaries would consider the situation as revealed by the Advance Warning System and decide on the areas where investigative action would be called for.

In 1985, the Cabinet Secretariat circulated a memo on setting up the Economic Intelligence System, which recalled the conclusions of the CoS and referred to a Proposal by the Ministry of Finance for creating a unified Central Authority (Central Economic Intelligence Bureau) for coordinating of collection of intelligence and use of economic intelligence. It appears from the papers available in CEIB that the decision to set up the Central Economic Intelligence Bureau emanated from the discussion on this Cabinet Secretariat memo.

The Central Economic Intelligence Bureau was set up in 1985, pursuant to the Cabinet Decision. The mandate of CEIB was outlined in the OM F No 11013/9/85 dated 20th September 1985. It was set up for coordinating and strengthening the intelligence gathering activities, the investigative efforts and enforcement action by various agencies concerned with Investigation into economic offences and enforcement of economic laws. The Bureau was to be responsible for maintain liaison with the concerned Departments and Directorates both at the Central and State Government level and in addition was to be responsible for the overall direction and control of the investigative agencies within the Department of Revenue.

The functions of CEIB inter alia were as follows:

  1. Collection of Intelligence and information regarding aspects of black economy.
  2. To collect information and provide periodical and special reports to the concerned authorities.
  3. To keep a watch on different aspects of economic offences and emergence of new type of such offences. It will be responsible for evolving the counter measures required for effectively dealing with the existing and new type of economic offences.
  4. To prepare and maintain dossiers on the organized gangs carrying on smuggling operations and other economic offence as also on individuals operating on a large scale. The bureau alone will plan, coordinate and supervise the execution and the operation against such gangs and persons as well as the follow-up of investigation after such operations.
  5. To act as nodal agency for cooperation and coordination at the international level with other customs drugs, law enforcement and other international agencies in the area of economic offences.
  6. Bureau in consultation with Central Board of Excise and Customs will be responsible for preparing the scheme of the nominated Central agency envisaged in Chapter 2 of the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act 1985. The Bureau will take all actions to obtain Government approval and for setting of this Central agency.
  7. Director General, CEIB will also be designated as Additional Secretary (Economic Intelligence) in the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance. He will oversee, inspect, and report on the performance from the technical angle on the various. Heads of intelligence and enforcement agencies in the Department of Revenue. He will also have the authority to issue such directions to these agencies as may be necessary for taken coordinating action and for following integrated system and procedures for the effective discharge of the intelligence and enforcement functions.

In terms of its existing revised charter, as per F.No. 50/107/2003/Ad-I dated 12.12.2003, read with letter F.No. 4/6/2004 E.S. dt 24.10.2005 the CEIB carries out the following functions:

  1. The Secretariat for the Economic Intelligence Council (EIC).
  2. Coordination between various agencies for coordinating action and repository of economic intelligence (ECOINT), and
  3. Administer the COFEPOSA Act 1974 at Central Government Level.
  4. Ensure prompt dissemination of intelligence having security implications among the NSCS, IB & R&AW.
  5. Coordinate the functioning of Regional Economic Intelligence Councils (REICs).
  6. Coordination with Multi Agency Centre (MAC).
  7. Organize meetings of Working Group under the Chairmanship of Revenue Secretary at prescribed intervals and submit a report to the Chairman of the EIC after every meeting.
  8. Act as a ‘think tank’ for the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance on all issues relating to economic offences, and undertake analysis of economic activities at the macro level.