Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman inaugurated Dharohar – the National Museum of Customs and GST in Goa to the country on Saturday as part of the Ministry of Finance’s Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav Iconic week.
Panaji’s iconic Blue Building houses ‘Dharohar’ on the banks of the Mandovi River. The two-storey structure is 400 years old and was previously known as Alfandega during Portuguese control. The dedication event was held in a novel way, with the FM scraping the golden sand from a single piece of rock art displayed inside the museum’s centuries-old historic building.
According to the Ministry of Finance, Dharohar is a one-of-a-kind museum in the country that displays not just antiquities confiscated by Indian Customs, but also many facets of the work of the Customs Department in defending the country’s economic boundaries, history, flora, wildlife, and society.
The newly opened museum has eight galleries, including an introductory gallery, a History of Taxation gallery, a Guardians of Our Economic Frontiers gallery, a Guardians of Our Art & Heritage gallery and a Guardians of Flora & Fauna gallery.
The museum’s show-stopper is a one-of-a-kind ‘Conflict of Wits’ display, which depicts the mental battle between smugglers and Customs inspectors. Seizures of historic coins, statues, endangered species, guns, and drugs are detailed in the book. It also includes a duplicate of Amin pillars from Kaurkshetra, confiscated metal and stone artefacts, ivory objects, and animal items, as well as a manuscript of Ain-i-Akbari caught by Indian Customs at the Indo-Nepal border at Raxaul.
The Dharohar Museum has a brand-new extension. The GST Gallery, a first of its type in the country, depicts the two-decade-long and laborious path to GST. The Gallery documents the steps and events that led to the implementation of reformed unified indirect taxes in the form of GST on July 1, 2017, beginning with discussions on GST initiated by the Atal Behari Vajpayee government in 2000. According to the ministry of finance, ‘Dharohar’ is an essential addition to India’s tourism map and a must-see site in Goa.