Revenue Transperancy Times
International Standard Serial Number: 2348 – 2958

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Bringing out a newspaper is indeed a courageous effort. One is always both proud and apprehensive so that one's conviction is not misplaced.

The Press is all about freedom but that freedom should not be absolute rather conditional, which also stands true for me.

Freedom brings with it greater responsibilities and, therefore, The Revenue Transparency Times (RTT) subjects itself to rigorous criticisms and corrections every day. One should know where to draw the line and have faith on their conscience that I never overstep that.
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Current RTT News

25th April 2014
No blanket immunity for conducting sting: SC
The CBI registered an FIR on the basis of a news report in The Indian Express on November 16, 2003. Express News Service | New Delhi In a ruling that could push journalists and others conducting sting operations to tread with caution, the Supreme Court Thursday said those behind such operations could not get blanket immunity from criminal prosecution if their actions showed that they had prima facie committed a crime. Their acts shall not stand obliterated only by a clamour that what they did was in the larger public good, it held. The ruling by a bench led by Chief Justice P Sathasivam is considered significant as there is no law to regulate sting operations in the country. The verdict has a direct bearing on cases where monetary allurement or other favours are offered to “expose” a person. The court dealt with questions whether the person conducting the sting should be held liable for a crime which is inseparable from the entire process, or should be exonerated since the act aimed to expose the main offender in a serious crime harmful to the public interest. The court also considered the question whether the initial crime by the person conducting the sting should be understood to be without any criminal intent, and only to facilitate the commission of the other crime by the “main culprit”. “The answer to the above, in our considered view would depend, as in any criminal case, on the facts and circumstances thereof. A crime does not stand obliterated or extinguished merely because its commission is claimed to be in public interest. Any such principle would be abhorrent to our criminal jurisprudence,” ruled the bench which also comprised Justices Ranjan Gogoi and N V Ramana. The court said that issues of criminal liability will have to be established after evidence is included. “The inherent possibilities of abuse of the operation as videographed, namely, retention and use thereof to ensure delivery of the favours assured by the receiver of the bribe has to be excluded before liability can be attributed or excluded. This can happen only after the evidence of witnesses is recorded,” it noted. to help us personalise your reading experience. The court emphasised intention was the most important element in such cases and hence a journalist or any other person, who has no connection, even remotely, with the favour that is allegedly sought in exchange for the bribe offered, cannot be imputed with the necessary intent to commit the crime of abetment or conspiracy. Maintaining that the illustrations cannot be exhaustive and a deeper probe may be required if the trial judge deems it fit, the court said that a full-fledged trial may be conducted in cases where the person conducting the sting prima facie had a stake in the favours that were allegedly sought in return for the bribe offered. The ruling upholds the CBI’s stand that a person, who does a sting operation on the sly to expose a “corrupt” public official, is liable to be charged with the crime of abetting corruption. Abetment of corruption fetches a punishment of a maximum of five years in jail and a fine under the Prevention of Corruption Act. The verdict came as the court junked a petition by Raja Prasad, a businessman, and Arvind Vijay Mohan, a journalist, who were charged with abetment of corruption and conspiracy for taking part in a sting operation in 2003, in which the then union minister for environment and forests, Dilip Singh Judeo, was caught on camera accepting Rs 9 lakh in a hotel room in New Delhi. The CBI registered an FIR on the basis of a news report in The Indian Express on November 16, 2003. The money was allegedly given on the pretext of obtaining favours from Judeo for mining projects in Orissa, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. It was, however, alleged by Prasad that the sting was the result of a conspiracy hatched by Amit Jogi, son of Ajit Jogi, the then chief minister of Chhattisgarh, to disgrace Judeo just before the Chhattisgarh assembly elections so that Ajit Jogi could derive political mileage.

23rd April 2014
Self-certification regarding compliance of bar-coding requirements on secondary and tertiary level packaging on export consignment of pharmaceuticals and drugs
Public Notice No. 56 (RE-2013)/2009-2014 In exercise of the powers conferred under Paragraph 2.4 of the Foreign Trade Policy, 2009-14, Director General of Foreign Trade hereby prescribes the procedure for self-certification regarding compliance of bar-coding requirements on secondary and tertiary level packaging on export consignment of pharmaceuticals and drugs. 2. Bar-coding on tertiary level packaging has come into effect from 1st October, 2011 as per Public Notice No. 59 of 30.06.2011. Similarly on secondary level packaging this has come into effect from 1st January, 2013 as per Public Notice No. 10 of 11.07.2012. The requirement of bar-coding on primary level packaging will come into effect from 1st July, 2014. 3. It has been decided that with effect from 01.04.2014, export of pharmaceuticals and drug consignment would be permitted through a self-certification process. In this process, the exporters would be required to furnish a written declaration to the custom authorities at the time of export [as per Annexure to this public notice] regarding compliance of the relevant provisions of bar-coding on secondary and tertiary level packaging on the consignment of pharmaceuticals and drugs being exported. 3. Effect of this Public Notice: A self-certification process on compliance of bar-coding requirement on secondary and tertiary level packaging of pharmaceuticals and drugs has been introduced. This will be effective from 1st April, 2014 (Madhusudan Prasad) Director General of Foreign Trade E-mail : dgft[at]nic[dot]in (Issued from F.No. 01/91/180/648/AM09/Export Cell) Annexure to Public Notice No. 56 (RE-2013)/2009-14 dated 1 April, 2014 (On letter head of Exporter containing details of Company phone numbers, e-mail & website etc) Exporter’s Declaration to Customs Officer of the relevant port for Pharma Products relating to compliance of track and trace capability and product registration. (The exporter’s declaration, the text of which is given below, must be made out in accordance with the footnotes. However, the footnotes do not have to be reproduced.) DECLARATION 1A. I, the undersigned, declare that the goods listed for export vide our invoice no. --------------------dated----------------------and Shipping Bill No.--------------------------dated----------------------and No.----------- dated-----------satisfy/comply with the requirements of the Public Notices issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (Department of Commerce) as listed below: i. Public Notice No. 21 (RE-2011)/2009-2014 dated 10.01.2011 ii. Public Notice No. 59 (RE-2010)/2009-2014 dated 30.06.2011 (applicable for tertiary level packaging) iii. Public Notice No. 60 (RE-2010)/2009-2014 dated 30.06.2011 iv. Public Notice No. 10 (RE-2012)/2009-2014 dated11.07.2012 (applicable for secondary level packaging) v. Public Notice No. 31 (RE-2013)/2009-2014 dated 17.10.2013 1B. I declare that the Government authority of importing country--------------------(name) has its own legislation/regime regarding track and trace capability and therefore GS1 Data Matrix for the packaging as required under para 3 of Public Notice No. 59 (RE-2010)/2009-2014 dated 30.06.2011, is not applicable in this consignment. 2A. I also declare that the goods in the consignment are being exported to ---------- (name of country) and that the products being exported hold necessary registration/approval issued by the concerned government authorities of importing country. 2B. The product(s) being exported do not require any registration/approval of the Government Authority of the importing country. I undertake to make available to the customs authorities any further supporting documents they require. By Place: (Name of the Company/Exporter) Date: (Signature) Name & Designation of Authorised Officer

21st April 2014
Drawback shipping bill in which the higher composite All Industry Rate applicable when Cenvat facility has not been availed is claimed – Processing at the time of export
Instruction Under the extant procedure in EDI, where the exporter files a shipping bill for export under claim for duty drawback and shows the claim for the higher composite rate that features in Column (A) of the AIR Drawback Schedule, the requirement of a “Non-Availment of Cenvat Certificate” appears at the time of export in the list of documents in EDI System. Only when it is recorded that this certificate is available, the shipping bill moves to Let Export Order (LEO) stage. When the shipping bill does not move to the LEO stage, the exporter or his agent has to amend the shipping bill to show claim for the lower rate of AIR duty drawback in column (B) of the Schedule. Upon such amendment, the shipping bill moves to the LEO stage without requirement of the certificate. This does not prevent the exporter from subsequently claiming higher drawback by following due procedure. 2. While replying to the Hon’ble Public Accounts Committee in a matter related to the Audit Report No.15/2011-12, Section 2 (Duty Drawback Scheme) it has come to notice that in certain cases the amendment of the shipping bill was avoided even though the necessary certificate for claiming the higher AIR was not available at the time of export. The practice in such cases was to show, in the EDI System document menu, that the certificate is available, and simultaneously record contrary remarks in the ‘departmental comments’ that certificate should be verified subsequently. Intent behind such remarks was that the certificate be seen at the time of drawback processing. However, instances were noticed where drawback was processed at the higher rate based on the details recorded in the EDI system rather than in the departmental comments. Such a practice is not in harmony with the EDI’s system-based checks and balances and places revenue at risk. The Board directs that such a practice should be strictly avoided and field formations should ensure that the prescribed procedure is scrupulously followed at the time of export. F.No.609/156/2013-DBK Dinesh Kumar Gupta Director

11th March 2014
Whistleblower questions Central Excise department's mass promotion
BANGALORE: The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), in a March 31 order, promoted 110 officers to the grade of assistant commissioners. The order, signed by Amarjit Singh, deputy secretary, government of India, reached offices across the country within a couple of days. A whistleblower in Karnataka shared, on condition of anonymity, with TOI a copy of the circular with the list of promoted officers. He argued that the order was passed more than three weeks after the model code of conduct came into effect following the Election Commission's announcement of the poll schedule. He also questions the urgency to promote officers on the last day of the financial year since formation of a new government is on the cards. The order reads: "The President is pleased to promote the officers mentioned in Annexure-I to the grade of Assistant Commissioner of CBEC in Pay Band 3 with Grade Pay of Rs 5,400 on purely ad-hoc basis with immediate effect and until further orders." NR Madhav Prasad Reddy, an activist from Anekal near Bangalore, late Saturday filed a complaint with the EC, demanding a probe if it violates the code of conduct. The whistleblower's note reads: "The order of promotion of 110 assistant commissioners of Central Excise (till transfers are decided as per their own policy), signed on 31-03-2014, last day of the year, when election process is under way (not known whether proper clearances from the Election Commission have been obtained, and even if obtained what was the urgency in clearing the list when a new government will be formed and take a justified decision on the matter)." Reddy told TOI: "Once the elections are over, I'll take up the matter with the departments concerned, or proceed with legal action." Sources in the EC confirmed the complaint has been filed and said it will be referred to the Delhi office. Source: The Times of India Bangalore

9th march 2014
Drawback shipping bill in which the higher composite All Industry Rate applicable when Cenvat facility has not been availed is claimed – Processing at the time of export
Under the extant procedure in EDI, where the exporter files a shipping bill for export under claim for duty drawback and shows the claim for the higher composite rate that features in Column (A) of the AIR Drawback Schedule, the requirement of a “Non-Availment of Cenvat Certificate” appears at the time of export in the list of documents in EDI System. Only when it is recorded that this certificate is available, the shipping bill moves to Let Export Order (LEO) stage. When the shipping bill does not move to the LEO stage, the exporter or his agent has to amend the shipping bill to show claim for the lower rate of AIR duty drawback in column (B) of the Schedule. Upon such amendment, the shipping bill moves to the LEO stage without requirement of the certificate. This does not prevent the exporter from subsequently claiming higher drawback by following due procedure. 2. While replying to the Hon’ble Public Accounts Committee in a matter related to the Audit Report No.15/2011-12, Section 2 (Duty Drawback Scheme) it has come to notice that in certain cases the amendment of the shipping bill was avoided even though the necessary certificate for claiming the higher AIR was not available at the time of export. The practice in such cases was to show, in the EDI System document menu, that the certificate is available, and simultaneously record contrary remarks in the ‘departmental comments’ that certificate should be verified subsequently. Intent behind such remarks was that the certificate be seen at the time of drawback processing. However, instances were noticed where drawback was processed at the higher rate based on the details recorded in the EDI system rather than in the departmental comments. Such a practice is not in harmony with the EDI’s system-based checks and balances and places revenue at risk. The Board directs that such a practice should be strictly avoided and field formations should ensure that the prescribed procedure is scrupulously followed at the time of export. F.No.609/156/2013-DBK Dinesh Kumar Gupta Director

9th march 2014
Manual filing and processing of Bills of Entry / Shipping Bills – stringent checks required to prevent misuse
Attention is invited to Board’s instructions of even no. dated 04.05.2011, read with Corrigendum dated 12.05.2011 on the subject mentioned above. 2. As per the referred instruction, the Board had taken a serious note of the possibility of misuse of the facility of manual filing and processing of import/export documents, which was being allowed by the field formations. Accordingly, it had been instructed that this should not be allowed except in exceptional and genuine cases where the electronic filing and processing of import/export documents is not feasible. Moreover, it was pointed out that in terms of Sections 46 and 50 of the Customs Act, 1962, the authority to allow manual filing and processing of documents rests with the Commissioner of Customs only. It is, however, noticed that despite this strict instruction, some field formations particularly vulnerable outlying CFSs/ ICDs are still routinely allowing importers/exporters to file the documents manually. This violation of the Board’s instruction is not acceptable. 3. The Board hereby directs that the facility of manual filing and processing of import/export documents shall be permitted by the Commissioner of Customs strictly in accordance with the legal provisions, read with Board’s instructions on the subject. It shall be the responsibility of the supervisory officers to ensure without fail that these instructions are adhered to by all concerned. F. No. 401/81/2011-Cus.III (R.P.Singh) Director (Customs)

6th April 2014
J.M. Shanti Sundharam joins as Chairperson, C.B.E. & C.
Smt. J.M. Shanti Sundharam joins as Chairperson, C.B.E. & C. Smt. J.M. Shanti Sundharam, a 1977 batch officer of Indian Revenue Ser-vice (Customs and Central Excise) has joined C.B.E. & C. as Chairperson on 25-2-2014. Earlier she was holding the officiating charge of Chairperson from 1-2-2014 consequent upon the superannuation of Ms. Praveen Mahajan. Born on 20-10-1954 at Madurai, Tamil Nadu, she did M.A. from Delhi University and M. Phil. from Punjab University. She comes from an academic family as her father was Sr. Lecturer in Sriram College of Commerce, New Delhi. She joined Revenue services on 14-7-1977 and had experience of working in various capacities in field formations under Central Excise & Customs. She has also served on deputation in the Ministry of Food and CEIB. During her tenure in CDR’s Office CESTAT, New Delhi, she strongly and effectively defended Revenue’s cases on technical and legal aspects. Her ex-perience in the CDR office was duly reflected in her orders passed as Commis-sioner, Central Excise (Appeals). She was also Commissioner of Customs (Pre-ventive), New Delhi and became Chief Commissioner, Tuticorin in December 2009 with additional charge of Chennai. Smt. Shanti Sundharam joined the Board as a Member on 29-11-2011 and had been Member (Budget), Member (Legal and Judicial), Member (Service Tax) and Member (Central Excise and Computerization). Her vivid experience in all three branches of taxation i.e. Central Excise, Customs & Service Tax coupled with computerisation of Dept., is likely to be of immense use in formulating policies and procedures in relation to the Indirect Taxes. Source: ELT

5th April 2014
Woman flyer wears 6 undies to hide 2kg gold
Customs officials arrested a woman passenger who had concealed 2.14 kg gold jewellery in her underwear at the international airport on Friday. She had worn six pairs of underwear to hide the gold valued at Rs 54.2 lakh. The passenger, Jama Dabir, a Kenyan national arrived from Nairobi and was stopped by the customs on suspicion. "We do passenger profiling based on certain parameters and picked on her. Our lady officers noticed that she was finding it difficult to walk indicating something amiss," an official said. Dabir had wrapped the gold jewellery in a plastic bag and concealed it between legs. "The six sets of underwear provided support to jewellery," the official added. This was Dabir's third visit to India and she was supposed to hand over the jewellery to someone. Customs officials said they believe she had smuggled in gold during her previous visits too. "She has not admitted to it," the official said. Dabir had planned to buy expensive embroidered garments from the sale proceeds and sell in her hometown. Dabir was released on bail of Rs 1 lakh and officials have seized her passport. She will have to face a criminal trial and the department will also issue a show cause notice for smuggling gold. She will end up paying duty evaded, penalty and fine. In August last, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence had arrested Vihari Poddar after she smuggled in diamond jewellery worth Rs 2.45 crore in her inner wear. She owned a jewellery firm in Singapore and was smuggling in the diamonds to be sold through the shops owned by her uncle here. Source : Times of India

5th April 2014
NYPD cop held at IGI airport as revenge for Devyani Khobragade spat?
Manny Encarnacion's friends think India is getting its own back for the Khobragade Nannygate spat. "You guys like to strip-search our diplomats," an Indian security official reportedly told the NYPD cop at New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport as he arrested him on March 10 for "inadvertently" traveling there with three bullets in his checked luggage. Nearly four weeks later, NYPD is still trying to bring back its 49-year old officer, who was visiting India to meet his Iranian wife Vida because they found it easier to rendezvous there. It has written a letter to Indian officials explaining his "innocent mistake." According to the NYPD version, Encarnacion was taking a required firearms recertification at a shooting range two days before he was to leave for India. At the end of the session, he tucked three spare rounds into his jacket pocket, and forgot about them. The bullets were still in the pocket when he packed his jacket in his suitcase to travel to India. "He knows he didn't do anything wrong," said Raul Borbon, a friend of the officer was quoted as saying in the New York Post, which first reported the story. "It's an innocent mistake." Regardless of whether New Delhi agrees with this, the NYPD cop is having to go through the legal grind in India, leading the Post, if not his friends, to believe he is being targeted to avenge the Khobragade episode in which the Indian diplomat was run out of New York in what New Delhi said was an overblown case. The State Department said it was aware of the incident, but declined to go into details because of what spokesperson Marief Harf said were "privacy considerations." Asked if it was seen as retribution from New Delhi for the Khobragade episode, Harf said the US wanted to "get past some of the tensions that have been there over the past several months and move on." "I just can't speak to this specific case... I think we feel like we've moved past this and hope the Indians have as well," she added. Delhi Police commissioner B S Bassi did not reply to the text messages. The deputy commissioner (IGI airport), Irshad Haidar, confirmed the arrest but added that he did not have any detail. Officials, however, denied that this arrest had any connection with the diplomat case. It was during the transit security check that the bullets were found in his luggage, said sources. The cop could not allegedly give a satisfactory answer. "An FIR (number 82) under Section 25 of Arms Act has been registered. He has been granted bail," said a source. But New York's tabloid leader went to town with the story. "NYPD cop held in India as 'Nannygate' revenge," read the headline in NY Post, above a photo of Encarnacion in front of the Taj Mahal, with an inset picture of Devyani Khobragade. The paper said Encarnacion has charged with violating the country's Arms Act of 1959 — and is facing up to seven years in an Indian prison for what it described as a "trumped up charge." Although he has hired a local lawyer to represent him, he is forbidden from leaving the country until his case plays out in court. "He was supposed to be going for 2¹/2 weeks, but it's turning into five weeks, if he comes back on April 19," his next court date in India, his friend Borbon said, adding that the NYPD cop of ten years wasn't really sweating it out because he was getting to spend additional time with his wife. He could end up doing plenty more time: The NYPD has told him if he gets convicted of a felony, he'll lose his job. (With inputs from Raj Shekhar in Delhi) Source: Times of India

4th April 2014
Excise Commissioner of Kolkata arrested by CBI on charge of taking Rs. 1 crore bribe
CBI today arrested Commissioner Central Excise and Customs of Kolkata AM Sahay for allegedly accepting bribe of over Rs. one crore through hawala channel. Besides Sahay, the CBI also arrested Prateek Bhalotia, R Bhalotia, Sandeep and Jasraj in an operation which was carried out in Kolkata and Mumbai, sources said. Involvement of a woman friend of the Commissioner was also being probed. After receiving a tip-off, the CBI started monitoring all relevant leads in this case and found that Rs. 1.10 crore was being exchanged allegedly as bribe for clearing a Mumbai-based company in an excise case. In what would remind of a Bollywood movie plot, the number of a currency note of Rs. 10 was the code between the hawala operator and the person who was to take the money. The Commissioner had allegedly also asked the company to give consultancy job to a woman friend and to hike her salary by lakhs of rupees every month to account for the bribe money. The CBI conducted searches and allegedly recovered another Rs. 60 lakh from Kolkata, the sources said, adding the money was also a part payment towards the bribe amount for the Commissioner. Source: NDTV

3rd April 2014
PROMPT ACTION TAKEN BY CBEC IN RESPONSE TO ARTICLE PUBLISHED BY RTT” Customs duty (SAD) avoidance in Free trade warehousing zones”
The readers may recall that a detailed analysis was published by RTT in August 2013 issue “ where under the mis-use of FTWZ Scheme was exposed highlighting loss of crores of Rupees to the exchequer by the way of non levy of 4% SAD from the actual user importer who were importing their goods through FTWZ. CBEC has issued a circular No. 44/2013-Cus dated 30.12.13, RTT welcomes the prompt and positive action by CBEC for issuance of said clarification against notification No. 45/2005-Cus . However, larger issue relating to the import of goods by DTA importers through FTWZ remains to be addressed. Section 26 of SEZ Act 2005 read with rules issued there under grants exemption to the goods intended to be brought to the SEZ (FTWZ) for authorized operations of SEZ units or SEZ developer. Thus, exemption is available for import to be made by SEZ unit or developer only who are carrying out their authorised operations in pursuance of letter of approval issued to them. The amendment of SEZ rules has extended this facility in case of contractors as well who are carrying out the operations for the SEZ units or developer for their authorised operations. In such cases the bill of entry has to be filed by the SEZ unit/SEZ Developer and the contractor jointly. In case of FTWZ, the units can be set up in the FTWZ by way of issuance of letter of approval by the Development Commissioner concerned. Therefore, the units in FTWZ are also eligible for duty free import in terms of section 26 of SEZ Act. The foreign supplier can also set up a unit for supply of goods in India in DTA. However, there is no provisions for import of goods by the DTA importer into FTWZ, who are not having LOP issued & cannot be treated as a unit or the developer of the SEZ. When the goods are not intended for authorised operation of the DTA importer in the SEZ, how can exemption be extended under SEZ Act and SEZ rules. The present practice of import of goods by the DTA importer into FTWZ is in blatant disregard of statutory provisions and beyond the scope or mandate of the SEZ scheme . Only exception when the DTA imports can be routed through SEZ is in case of port based SEZ in terms of Second Proviso to Rule 11(ii) of SEZ rules 2006 where the DTA cargo has to be stored separately and the clearance allowed from the SEZ against the assessment undertaken by the Assistant/Deputy Commissioner for DTA. These clearances are out side the purview of the SEZ scheme and the exemption under notification 45/2005-Cus cannot be extended in such cases. The exemption to DTA importer through SEZ (FTWZ) are not in the nature of clearances covered under section 30 of SEZ Act 2005 or Rule under section 47/48 of SEZ rule 2006 and outside notification No. 45/2005-Cus. CBEC is further requested to take the action as above so that there is no possibility of contradiction and extension of unintended benefits to DTA importers which are not having any LOP or units inside a SEZ/FTWZ. The filing of bill of entry for DTA cargo is FTWZ is without authority of law.

3rd April 2014
Sending back of appeals on defective grounds by CIC is causing loss of faith in RTI act
It has been gathered that CIC in response to a RTI response dated 26-2-2014, has revealed that during a period of 7½ months from 17-7-2013 to 26-2-2014, the Central Registry of CIC has returned 8288 appeals/complaints as defective, while during the same period it had registered 21572 appeals/complaints. The return of the defective appeals/complaints is nearly 40% of the cases registered in the CIC during the corresponding period. Besides return of 8288 defective appeals/complaints by the Central Registry of CIC, the Registries of the individual Information Commissioners (ICs) are also returning defective appeals/complaints. Though Registries of many of the ICs are not providing statistics regarding the return of defective petitions but the 3 registries had provided information which indicates the Information Commissioners on an average returning 90 of the total appeals received by them as defective appeals/complaints per month during the year 2013. Further 7 registries of the ICs working during the year 2013; the return of the defective appeals/complaints at CIC is more than 1500 appeals/complaints per month. Sources also say that the RTI applicants are complaining that in most of the cases appeals/ complaints are being returned by CIC on trivial issues or flimsy grounds and even if the defects are rectified even then the appeals/complaints are again returned for the same reason . In majority of the cases the appeals and complaints filed with CIC are from the general public who are not familiar with the technicalities and procedures of the law. Even the CIC website or the helpline does not render any help to the common man who is not so conversant as to how the required information regarding filing of appeals or complaints has to be obtained from the web site of CIC. It is a matter of great concern that CIC is returning nearly 18000 appeals/complaints in a year on the ground of being defective and needs to be checked because it not only incurring huge expenditure but also draining national resources as well as loss of image to CIC amongst the information seeker who feel that CIC is indiscriminately marking their appeals/complaints as defective so as to keep their pungency figures slim and trim.

3rd April 2014
ARM-TWISTING BY CBEC TO COLLECT MORE REVENUE
As the revenue target has not been achieved by the department this year and due to proposed elections, the Govt. requires more money, CBEC has illegally resorted to arm-twisting as under to collect more revenue from the importers (air as well as sea) on all India basis: Forced Non Utilization of duty free Scripts by importers: (a) Importers who pay the duty from duty free scripts such as SFIS, Focus Product Scheme, VKGUY, FMS, etc. are being forced to pay 30% of the total duty in cash due to internal circular. If the importer do not pay cash, the release of goods is delayed on one pretext or the other which results in increase in demurrage/detention charges and importers/CHAs are forced to toe the customs line after few days. In some cases the importers are not able to fully utilize the duty free scripts and have to incure loss since the duty free scripts expire without utilization. In other case, even if Cenvat Credit is availed equal to the CVD paid in cash, many exporters are not able to utilize the Cenvat Credit and thus block their money resulting into acute financial hardship. Non Disbursement of refund money by the department (b) Although various refund claims are being processed and sanctioned, but on the plea of non achievement of revenue target, the department is not disbursing money in the account of applicants/claimants. Stoppage of refund disbursement started as early as January, 2014, whereas earlier such steps used to be taken only in the month of March every year. The arm-twisting by CBEC as above is nothing, but harassment to the trade which adversely affected economic activity of the country. CBEC is requested not to resort to such arm-twisting and goodwill from trade and rather earn industry before next general elections..

March 22, 2014
Delay in clearance of import consignment at ICD Tughlakabad making importers restive
The Festive season has arrived but importers who are waiting for clearance of their import consignment are having sleepless night due to delay in clearance of import consignment at ICD –Tughlakabad. Due to abnormal delay in release of imported cargo, the importers are not in a position to fulfill their prior commitments and timely deliveries in the market. One of the major reasons for the delay in clearance of imported cargo is the non shifting of Container by CONCOR. RTT has gathered that CONCOR’s lower employees are taking four to seven days for shifting of the containers whereas earlier they used to take 2to 3 days. Second reason for delay in clearance of cargo is the assessment and examination time taken by the Customs officer has been reduced from 8pm to 6.30 pm sources say. The importers expressed to RTT bureau that the only solution to solve this problem is to cut in time by CONCOR in shifting containers and extension of working hours by the Customs. To meet the above challenge, CONCOR and Customs has to work collectively. This is the time when both the agencies can show their effectiveness & result orientation. If the above suggestion is implemented, it will undeniably help the Importers & Trade in the festive season whereby they will be able to supply goods in the market well in time & need not to shell out unnecessary money on account of demurrage and detention charges. The professional attitude of the Customs and CONCOR will rise to the occasion and will provide desired relief to the trade.

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25th April 2014
No blanket immunity for conducting sting: SC
The CBI registered an FIR on the basis of a news report in The Indian Express on November 16, 2003. Express News Service | New Delhi In a ruling that could push journalists and others conducting sting operations to tread with caution, the Supreme Court Thursday said those behind such operations could not get blanket immunity from criminal prosecution if their actions showed that they had prima facie committed a crime. Their ..
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