National Museum of Customs and GST: Key Points

On 11th June 2022, Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Finance Minister, opened the National Museum of Customs and GST “Dharohar” in Goa. This inauguration was in line with the Finance Ministry’s Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav Iconic week which was observed from 6th to 12th June 2022.

How was the dedication ceremony performed?

The dedication ceremony was unique in nature as the Finance Minister removed the golden sand from an installed single piece of rock art at the heritage building which is centuries-old. This heritage building is housing the museum. The two-storey building which is blue in colour was earlier named Alfandega. This name was given to this building when the Portuguese ruled in Goa. This building is located on the banks of the Mandovi River, Panaji for over 400 years.

How many galleries does this museum have?

The museum has 8 galleries which are:

  • The introductory gallery,
  • The guardians of the country’s economic frontiers gallery
  • Taxation history gallery
  • The guardians of flora and fauna
  • The guardians of the country’s Art and Heritage,
  • Indirect Taxes journey- Salt Tax to GST
  • The keepers of the country’s social well being
  • GST gallery

What makes the museum unique?

This museum is unique and showcases various artefacts that have been seized by the Indian Customs. It also highlights the various kinds of work undertaken by the Customs Department to develop the country’s heritage, economic front, society, flora, and fauna.

What does this museum provide?

This museum showcases the battle of the Customs Officers against the smugglers. This museum has displayed the seizures of:

  • Statues
  • Coins that are antique
  • Weapons
  • Wildlife that is endangered
  • narcotics.

This museum provides an opportunity to look into the functioning of the country’s Customs Department and how it has transitioned over the years to tackle the ever-rising challenges.

What are some notable displays in this museum?

  • Ain-i-Akbari manuscript that was seized by the Customs department at Raxaul’s Indo-Nepal border
  • Amin pillars replica from Kurukshetra
  • Astronomical instruments dating back to the medieval period
  • Wildlife items
  • Various intercepted stones and metal artefacts
  • Items made of ivory

The museum also has an e-catalogue containing high-resolution pictures of the displayed items along with related information.

What is the GST Gallery?

This gallery is a new addition to the Dharohar Museum. This gallery highlights the laborious journey undertaken till the implementation of GST that spans a two-decade time period. The journey begins with the Atal Behari Vajpayee Government starting GST discussions in 2000, and along the way highlights the numerous ways that created the way for GST introduction.

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