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Cus - Subsequent to order under challenge, Customs Broker Licence of appellant has been revoked, appeal becomes infructuous: CESTATCus - Since the licence has ultimately been revoked, appeal directed against confirmation of suspension of Customs Broker licence, has been rendered infructuous: CESTATCus - Once verification of address is complete, if client moves to a new premises and does not inform authorities or does not get his documents amended, such act or omission of client cannot be held against Customs Broker: CESTATCus - Once verification of address is complete, if client moves to a new premises and does not inform authorities or does not get his documents amended, such act or omission of client cannot be held against Customs Broker: CESTATCus - Subsequent to order under challenge, Customs Broker Licence of appellant has been revoked, appeal becomes infructuous: CESTATCus - Subsequent to order under challenge, Customs Broker Licence of appellant has been revoked, appeal becomes infructuous: CESTATSuspension & Revocation of Customs Broker LicenseIranian President Ebrahim Raisi, foreign minister die in chopper crash in northwestern IranI-T - Escapement of income due to claim of deduction u/s 80-IB(10) was certainly a subject matter of appeal and admittedly so and on this income reassessment is not permissible : HCPatanjali staffers jailed after much-hyped ‘Soan Papdi’ fails food standardsFSSAI alerts Fruit Traders against use of Calcium Carbide in Fruit RipeningBlowback for Sunak mulling curbs on post-study visas for foreign studentsI-T - Additions framed u/s 68 on account of unexplained cash credit cannot be sustained where AO does not specify how such additions had been computed: ITATIranian President Raisi’s death confirmed in copter crashPoll-related seizures piling up close to Rs 9,000 croresI-T - Charitable organisation cannot be denied registration u/s 12AB solely on grounds that it is managed by one person, but where its activities are for the benefit of the entire society at large: ITATIndonesian volcano turns active; 7 villages evacuatedCitizens join big time with EC to check electoral malpracticesCongo Military claims it foiled serious bid of coup involving Americans and British menI-T - Material to be considered for invoking Search assessment should be seized in course of search u/s 132 of the Act on searched action or requisitioned u/s 132A: ITATNew Taiwanese President assumes office amid rising tensions from China889 candidates to contest elections in Phase 6I-T - Failure of AO in recording the satisfaction based on any material seized during the course of the search, vitiates search assessment proceeding: ITATECI seizures inches close to Rs 9000 Cr; 45% of seizures are drugsPMLA - If accused appears before Special Court pursuant to summons, he shall not be treated as if he is in custody and it is not necessary for him to apply for bail : SC (See 'TIOLCorplaws')Delhi logs 44.4 degrees temperature on SundayCus - Warehoused goods cleared for export & was bound for foreign-going vessel; Customs officers issued Let Export order; Department's allegation of goods being diverted not backed by evidence, hence unsustainable: CESTATAmnesty Scheme for exporters: Govt recovers Rs 852 CroreCustoms - CBIC prescribes undertaking from importers of lubrication oil for clearance of consignmentGas tanker blast in Pune; Hotels, houses guttedST - Dry Leasing - Agreement between assessee & party for leasing jet aircraft with possession solely at risk of lessee along with maintenance, is not Supply of Tangible Goods; transaction amounts to Deemed Sale under Article 366(29A) of Constitution & hence excluded from Service Tax levy: CESTATViolations of economic sanctions: Criminal penalties come into forceST - Commissionerate at Raipur lacks jurisdiction to issue SCN demanding tax for such service which was provided by assessee's unit in Delhi, where service in question is rendered outside jurisdiction of Raipur Commissionerate: CESTATBengaluru Customs nabs 4 pax with gold powder worth Rs 1.96 CroreST - No question of suppression of facts would arise where assessee regularly files returns & maintains proper books; extended limitation need not be invoked in these circumstances: CESTAT
 
Budget 2021 - Balancing Expectations and Reality

FEBRUARY 10, 2021

By Harsh Shah, Partner & Shreya Mundhra, Associate Manager, ELP

EXTRAORDINARY times call for extraordinary measures. Batting on a sticky wicket in the aftermath of COVID, the Hon'ble Finance Minister presented the most crucial Union Budget 2021-22 on 1st February 2021, chalking out the plan for growth and resilience of the Indian Economy.

A slew of announcements were made in light of the 'Make in India' policy, along with the ideology to achieve minimum government and maximum governance. Several efforts were undertaken to curb the loopholes leading to irregular availment of credit as well as evasion of taxes. While certain retrospective amendments are proposed in order to negate the impact of the principles laid down vide landmark judgments 1, certain other retrospective amendments are on the positive side qua the assessee 2. Steps in the right direction have been taken to rationalize Customs duty structure with minimum distortions, by eliminating outdated exemptions and introducing new ones with a limited validity.

While more often than not, most budgets have not lived up to the expectation, the current budget indicates being stable, pragmatic, and far sighted.

No changes in Income tax rates have been made for the Aam Aadmi, thereby addressing their woes and uncertainty given the difficult year gone by. On another positive note, even though the levy of 'Agriculture, Infrastructure and Development Cess' ('AIDC') has been proposed on import of certain specified goods such as apples, fermented beverages, etc., the Basic Customs Duty rates for most of such items have been lowered with the objective of ensuring that the imposition of AIDC does not cause any additional burden on the consumer.

In view of the free vaccination drive of the Government for COVID, it was highly anticipated that the Government could introduce a Covid Cess. Thankfully, no such measures were proposed, providing the taxpayers a huge sigh of relief. A perfect example of no news being good news!

Without any doubt, the Budget this time is a masterstroke, as was reflected in the immediate surge in the market. There were some expectations, however, which industry had on the indirect tax front which were not addressed in this budget.

Keeping in mind the focus of the Government towards an early dispute resolution mechanism, an Amnesty scheme under the Customs law, would have been a welcome move. The benefit under the scheme could have been by way of a reduced/full payment of Customs duty with waiver from interest, penalty and prosecution. This Amnesty scheme would have aided in resolving the pending Customs disputes inter alia on the issue of classification, valuation, rules of origin etc. in the lines of Vivad se Vishwas Scheme or Sabka Vishwas Legacy Dispute Resolution Scheme.

For a long time now, the industry has had a wish-list for inclusion of certain petroleum products, such as Natural gas, Aviation Turbine Fuel etc. under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime. This would not only resolve the issues of huge credit accumulation of suppliers of petroleum products (who pay GST on most of their sourcing activities) but would also result in reduction in prices for consumers.

The Finance Minister in her budget speech also suggested that possible measures to remove the anomalies towards Inverted duty structure under GST would be adopted. The issues arising due to an interpretation issue in relation to Rule 89(5) of the Central Goods and Services Tax Rules, 2017, however, still persists, thereby leading to an accumulation of input tax credit of GST paid on Input services on account of inverted duty structure and consequent increase in costs. A clarity on the same would have gone a long way in furthering the intent of the legislation to permit refund in a scenario of inverted duty structure irrespective of it being goods or services. On the Customs duty side, rates have been reduced on certain raw materials and inputs used by the domestic manufacturers so as to reduce the cost of inputs and correction of inverted duty structure.

While under the recently introduced scheme of Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products (RoDTEP), the exporters are already facing challenges such as the option to choose RoDTEP vs. Advance authorization in the shipping bills, the uncertainty regarding the rate, etc. a statement indicating the intent/direction on RoDTEP could have helped exporters choose the appropriate option in the interim while the fine print of the scheme is made available in due course of time.

In a nutshell, the Budget provides a vision of Aatmanirbhar Bharat and highlights the steps to be taken towards implementation of the fiscal measures. Not only does it disincentivize tax evasion by putting in place stringent policies, it also holds officials accountable in cases of lingered investigation leading to loss of revenue. All in all, it genuinely attempts to offer a light at the end of the tunnel in an otherwise grappling economy and perfectly balances expectations and reality.

[The views expressed are strictly personal.]

1 Section 7 of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 (CGST Act) and the corresponding retrospective omission of Entry 7 of Schedule II

2 Section 50 of the CGST Act

(DISCLAIMER : The views expressed are strictly of the author and Taxindiaonline.com doesn't necessarily subscribe to the same. Taxindiaonline.com Pvt. Ltd. is not responsible or liable for any loss or damage caused to anyone due to any interpretation, error, omission in the articles being hosted on the site)

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