News Update

 
E-Payment of Refund/Rebate

DDT in Limca Book of Records - Third Time in a row

TIOL-DDT 2764
13 01 2016
Wednesday

IN order to speed up the transfer of the fund directly to the beneficiary's bank account after sanction of the refund/rebate claim and thereby promote ease of doing business, CBEC has prescribed the procedure for e-payment of refund/ rebate for implementation by all field formations:

I. E-PAYMENT THROUGH AUTHORIZED BANKS

a) The payment under the system of electronic payment of refund/ rebate amounts through RTGS/ NEFT facility shall be made by the field formations through authorized banks. More than one bank may also be authorized for e-payment.

b) The Commissioner concerned, after obtaining concurrence from the authorized bank(s) within the jurisdiction to provide for payment of refund/ rebate to assessees through RTGS/ NEFT facility, shall authorize the refund sanctioning authorities within their jurisdiction to make e-payment of refund/ rebate through such authorized banks only.

c) The banks may charge the refund claimant fee for remitting refund amount through RTGS/ NEFT as per RBI guidelines and the claimant would get only the net amount. This should be quantified and fixed in consultation with the authorized bank at the time of rolling out the scheme for payment to the claimant's account.

II. PROCEDURE FOR E-PAYMENT

a) While filing refund/ rebate claim for the first time, the claimants opting for this facility shall provide one-time authorization in duplicate, duly certified by the beneficiary bank in a prescribed format.

b) The refund sanctioning authority shall ensure that at least one signed statement of sanctioned orders along with a cheque for the consolidated refund/rebate amount, in the prescribed format, is forwarded to the authorized bank in a given month.

c) Upon receipt of the statement signed by the refund sanctioning authority and the cheque for the consolidated refund amount, the bank would credit the refund amounts to the respective accounts of the claimants through NEFT/RTGS after deducting the applicable NEFT/ RTGS charges as per RBI guidelines. Commissioners are expected to ensure that there is no delay in the disbursal of the sanctioned amounts.

These instructions shall be put in place by the field formations by 10.02.2016. The facility of e-payment of refunds/ rebate is already operational in certain Central Excise zones such as Mumbai-II, Hyderabad, Chandigarh and Chennai.

The field formations, for assistance, if any while complying with above directions may consult the above formations which have already implemented the e-payment facility.

Once the above refund/rebate system is settled with the bank, field formations concerned shall issue necessary trade notices for information to members of trade.

CBEC Circular No. 1013/1/2016-CX., Dated: January 12, 2016

Customs -Remission of Duty - Volatile Goods - Government Supersedes a 52 year old Notification

SECTION 70 of the Customs Act reads as:

SECTION 70. Allowance in case of volatile goods. - (1) When any ware-housed goods to which this section applies are at the time of delivery from a warehouse found to be deficient in quantity on account of natural loss, the Assistant Commissioner of Customs or Deputy Commissioner of Customs  may remit the duty on such deficiency.

(2) This section applies to such warehoused goods as the Central Government, having regard to the volatility of the goods and the manner of their storage, may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify.

In pursuance of this power, the Government issued Notification No. 122-Cus dated 1963 specifying the following goods to which the provisions of the section shall apply when they are deposited in a warehouse:

(1) aviation fuel, motor spirit, mineral turpentine, acetone, menthol, raw naphtha, vaporising oil, kerosene, high speed diesel oil, batching oil, diesel oil, furnace oil and Ethylene Dichloride kept in tanks and liquid helium gas kept in containers:

(2) wine, spirit and beer, kept in casks.

Superseding the above notification, the Government has issued a new notification specifying the goods afresh. They are

1. aviation fuel, motor spirit, mineral turpentine, acetone, methanol, raw naphtha, vaporizing oil, kerosene, high speed diesel oil, batching oil, diesel oil, furnace oil and ethylene dichloride, kept in tanks;

2. wine, spirit and beer, kept in casks;

3. liquid helium gas kept in containers; and

4. crude stored in caverns.

It is really great that the CBEC still has a notification issued 52 years ago, which they have superseded now.

Incidentally, CBEC had recently specified 'crude', imported and stored in underground rock caverns as a class of goods in respect of which no interest shall be charged under the said section 61 - see notification 147/2015-Cus(NT) dated 23.12.2015 & DDT 2753.

Notification No. 03/2016 - Customs (N.T.), Dated: January 11, 2016

Exchange Rates -CBEC Messes Up Notification - Hindi better than English

CBEC had issued the Notification for Exchange Rates -Notification No.02/2016 dated 07.01.2016. Schedule-I of the Notification is as given below.

SCHEDULE-I

Sl.No.
Foreign Currency
Rate of exchange of one unit of foreign currency equivalent to Indian rupees
(1)
(2)
(3)
 
 
(a)
(b)
   
(For Imported Goods)
(For Export Goods)
1. Australian Dollar 47.70 46.50
2. Bahrain Dinar 182.95 172.40
3. Canadian Dollar  48. 00 46.95
4. Danish Kroner 9.85 9.55
5. EURO 73.35 71.55
6. Hong Kong Dollar 8.70 8.55
7. Kuwait Dinar 226.45 213.95
8. New Zealand Dollar 45.00 43.80
9. Norwegian Kroner 7.60 7.40
10. Pound Sterling 98.95 96.80
11. Singapore Dollar 47.15 46.10
12. South African Rand 4.30 4.10
13. Saudi Arabian Riyal 18.35 17.35
14. Swedish Kroner 7.90 7.70
15. Swiss Franc 67.60 65.90
16. UAE Dirham 18.75 17.70
17. US Dollar 67.45 66.40
18.  Chinese Yuan 10.25 10.05

Now they want to amend Sl. No. 12 (South African Rand) of the above schedule, but by mistake they have amended Sl. No. 9 of the Schedule.

This is not a small mistake. Now what happens is there is no exchange rate for Norwegian Kroner as Sl. No. 9 is replaced by Sl. No. 12 - South African Rand. Rand will have two sets of exchange rates. Utter confusion for importers, exporters and Customs Officers. And imagine what impression we are presenting before World Trade; that we cannot amend properly a simple exchange rate notification. All because some careless babu wrote 9 for 12 and it got the sanction of LAW.

Strangely the Hindi version is correct. It reads as

Legal Corner Icon

So, the Hindi version substitutes Sl. No 12 and the English Version substitutes Sl. No. 9.Unfortunately, people in Norway and South Africa don't know much of Hindi.

As if this is not enough, the Sl. No. of the Notification is 12/2016. The previous Notification issued by the Government was 3/2016. What happened to 8 notifications in between? God Knows; Board knows.

Notification No. 12/2016 - Customs (N.T.), Dated: January 12, 2016

FTP - Import of Apples -More Ports Allowed

IN September 2015, DGFT had imposed a policy condition that import of apples covered under EXIM Code 0808 10 00 is allowed only through Nhava Sheva port. This was challenged in the Kerala High Court which allowed the imports through Cochin.

Now import is allowed through both seaports and airports in Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai & Cochin; and land port & airport in Delhi. Import of apples is also allowed through India's land borders. But then, why leave the other ports?

DGFT Notification No. 30/2015-2020., Dated:January 12 2016

Inspectors as Escorts for Joint Commissioners

THERE is a Control Room situated on the ground floor of the Commissionerate. On one side facing entry towards the building, there is a window of the Control Room with the board "Reception". Whereas, on another wall inside the building, there is a board "Control Room". The Inspector posted in Control Room has to perform both duties, i.e. as a Receptionist and as a Control Room officer! There is round the clock posting of Inspectors in Control Room. Around two lakh rupees per month is being spent towards salary of the Inspectors posted in the Control Room.

The Deputy Commissioner (Prev) of Vadodara central Excise-I Commissionerate recently issued a letter to the effect that "officers allotted Control Room Duty will escort senior officers up to the rank of Joint Commissioner, to their respective cabins."

Imagine this humour in uniform. A uniformed Inspector is required to escort JC and above ranked officers to their cabin. Is it that the JC does not know the way to his cabin, or will he/she be kidnapped on the way? In what era are we living? What can you say about an officer who expects another officer to chaperon him even within his office? This is not even a relic of the past British days; maybe this reminds one of the Moghul days. The Revenue Secretary does not have this facility; the Chairman and Members of the Board do not have this facility. No, this is not a facility, this is absolutely contemptuous arrogance. If you cannot go to your room from the entrance of the building, how are you competent to collect revenue, adjudicate cases and administer a system at the taxpayers' cost? Who are you trying to impress?

Are Inspectors who also pass through one of the toughest tests and are rather well paid, meant to be wasted like this. Are they meant to be orderlies? If you want escorts, why don't you hire proper escorts who will cost you only one fourth of what it costs you to have an inspector. Maybe a few retired clowns can be hired to jump around officers to add some fun to office life.

What will happen if another senior officer arrives while the escort inspector is escorting a senior officer to his cabin. Will the senior officer wait for the escort to come back and escort him? And what will happen if two or three officers are waiting at the reception to be escorted? And don't they need escorting while leaving the office?

It is really unbelievable that such despicable actions can take place in the 21 st century and what stuns is the audacity with which such written instructions are given, with absolutely no authority.

DDT tried to contact the Hon'ble Deputy Commissioner who issued the instruction. He was not available in his cabin and nobody would give us his number. He is the Deputy Commissioner(Preventive); what would be the fate of an informer who wants to contact him?

DDT tried to contact the Joint Commissioner (one of the officers who was required to be escorted). We were told he was very busy and he would call us back. He didn't. We tried to contact the Commissioner but failed there too.

We spoke to an Inspector, who strangely asked us, “this is between us and the department; how are you concerned?”

Sir, I pay the taxes with which you are paid for your escorts and excursions.

Strangely, there are a few in the flock who feel privileged to do such duties and bask in the glory of being a Control room officer, all decked up in the finest livery.  In fact, they are more at ease doing these ‘escort duties' rather than rummaging through dusty records and drafting show cause notices or replying to Audit objections!

Mr. Abhishek Kamal, Secretary General of the All India Central Excise Inspectors Association has written to the CBEC on the issue.

He says, "this is an example of misuse of manpower in the Central Excise offices, which is not limited to Vadodara only. Most of the Central Excise Zones have regular 24x7x365 control rooms even though there is no legal backing to empower the administration to set up such control rooms. Control Room duty allotment to the Inspectors of Central Excise is not only the man power wastage but also a tool to promote feudalistic approach among the higher officers. The time has come when we have to step out of the colonial mind-set which force us escorting the officers to their cabins instead of providing quality service to the taxpayers and collecting revenue for growth of the nation." He wants the Inspectors to be allowed to perform their duty with responsibility and respect.

Please also see DDT 1218, 1520, 1524 & 2547

Until Tomorrow with more DDT

Have a nice day.

Mail your comments to vijaywrite@tiol.in


 RECENT DISCUSSION(S) POST YOUR COMMENTS
   
 
Sub: Escort Service

This is regarding the escort service of Inspectors to Joint Commissioners. Your quote of DC (P) of Vadodara CE-I reads, Inspectors will escort senior officers upto the rank of JC, it does not speak about above the rank of JC, may be ADCs and Commissioner have exclusive Inspectors escorting them all the time.
This reminds of a comedy clip in a telugu cinema by the erstwhile comedian Pichakottudu Sudhakar, a contemporary of our megastar Chiranjeevi. He wears black goggles and poses as a blind man on the side of the road, when a vamp actress helps him cross the road by taking his arm, and while crossing he takes a few snipes on the upper part of the vamp.

Posted by Napolean B