Stern action against excise evaders: Chidambaram

May 29th, 2008 - 6:41 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of P. Chidambaram

New Delhi, May 29 (IANS) Finance minister P. Chidambaram Thursday warned against organised evasion of excise duty and said stern measures would be taken against such malpractice. “We need to take a very strong action so that there is no organised evasion of excise duty,” Chidambaram told reporters on the margins of a conference with officers of the Central Board of Excise and Customs here.

The entire ceramic tile industry, for example, was evading excise duty till it came to the notice of the authorities, he said.

The finance minister was convinced that the target for customs and service tax for 2008-09 would be met, but expressed concern over the sluggish excise duty collections.

He admitted that meeting the budgetary target of Rs.1,360 billion for excise would be a difficult this fiscal. “Excise problems are well known. There has been clandestine movement of goods and misuse of central value added tax.”

He said the budgetary estimate for excise duty collection was 8.8 percent higher than the previous fiscal, adding: “At this moment, it seems little formidable as April excise tax collections were not reassuring. This might be an aberration.”

The finance minister said he has also asked the excise department to devise a mechanism for third party information on excise assessment on the lines of the annual information on income tax returns.

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