Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Revenue
Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs
North Block, New Delhi-110001
Tel. No.: +91-11-23092849, Fax : +91-11-23092890
E-mail : email@example.com
M. Ajit Kumar, Chairman
Date: 24th May 2021
At the outset, let me extend the Board’s appreciation to the Zonal Chiefs, officers and staff along the Western coast for rising up to the occasion, in the midst of a raging pandemic, and taking necessary precaution to avoid any loss of life or damage to property during the cyclonic storm Taukate’ I am happy to note that Customs operations were quickly restored to keep the supply chain moving.
However, meanwhile there is news that another low pressure area has formed over Bay of Bengal this time, which may intensify into a very severe Cyclonic Storm `Maas’ and affect areas in West Bengal and north Odisha later this week. I would request the Zonal Chiefs and all of you staying in that area, to be alert and take necessary care, so that there is no difficulty caused for staff and our property, departmental vessels, etc. are taken care of.
The week that has passed by has seen major trade facilitation measures initiated by CBIC both on the Customs and GST fronts. On the Customs side, to keep pace with global trade practices, the Hon’ble Finance Minister in this year’s budget made an announcement of amendments to the Customs (Import of Goods at Concessional Rate of Duty) Rules, 2017 (IGCR, 2017). Accordingly, the Customs (Import of Goods at Concessional Rate of Duty) Amendment Rules, 2021 were notified vide Notification No. 09/2021-Customs (N.T.), dated 01.02.2021. For ease of understanding the broad modalities of its operationalisation, the Customs wing of CBIC has issued a detailed circular No.10/2021 -Cus dated 17.05.2021.
The said circular spells out the scope of the procedures to be followed by the importer whose goods have been extended the facility of the amended IGCR Rules 2017, etc. It seeks to simplify and standardise the compliance requirement for end-use based exemptions. The said circular also encompasses several facilitation measures. It contains certain changes that are industry friendly and will enhance ease of doing business, some of which are worth mentioning. Importers who are manufacturers but not having their own manufacturing facilities can import raw materials for job work and outsource the same for manufacturing. It excludes sensitive sectors such as gold, articles of jewellery and other precious metals or stones from this facility of job work. Further, it allows for import of capital goods and their clearance into the domestic market on payment of applicable duty and interest on depreciated value, after completing their intended use. These changes are expected to facilitate and enhance the role of MSME sectors that were constrained due to the absence of such facilities earlier.
In my letter last week, I had requested the Zones to use the ‘Refund Fortnight’ to revisit individual cases and handhold the trade so as to ensure that legitimate taxpayers get their dues. The matter was also discussed in detail with Zonal Chiefs in a Video Conference. To further facilitate the taxpayers on refund matters, certain amendments have been carried out in CGST Rules, 2017 vide Notification No. 15/2021-Central Tax dated 18.05.2021. These amendments relate to exclusion of time period from the date of filing a refund application to the date of issuance of deficiency memo for computation of the limitation period of two years. It also provides for withdrawal of a refund claim by the taxpayer if they have filed the same by mistake or if the amount claimed is wrong or the tax period selected is wrong, subject to the conditions that no action has been initiated by the proper officer.
Further, amendments in the GST Rules pertaining to revocation of cancellation has been affected to facilitate trade. Rules pertaining to e-Way Bills have been amended to remove the restriction on generation of e-Way bill by the registered supplier which will now allow the compliant taxpayer to conduct his business without worrying about the return-filing status of his recipient. Suitable changes/amendments have been made to the respective Rules for a smooth functioning.
On the anti-smuggling front, in a joint operation, officers of DRI Bengaluru Zonal Unit assisted by CGST officers at Chitradurga, Karnataka, seized 9.3 Kgs of gold valued around Rs.4.67 crore on 21.05.2021. Specific intelligence had been received that gold had been smuggled into the country through airports in Kerala and was being transported to other places. To thwart this attempt, the officers attempted to intercept and stop a suspect vehicle in transit in Karnataka, by creating a blockade. The suspect vehicle crashed through the barrier and proceeded towards Chitradurga at high speed. Showing stout resolve and determination, our officers, after a 30 km chase, intercepted the vehicle and recovered the concealed gold. Two passengers have been arrested. I commend all the officers who have shown great determination and courage in completing their given task at considerable risk.
Before concluding, I would on behalf of the department and my personal behalf, like to congratulate Ms. Jagit Pavadia, an IRS officer of the 1979 batch of CBIC, who after retirement joined the International Narcotics Control Board and has now been elected as President of the Organisation. I wish her the very best in her new assignment.
In the midst of severe odds, all of you have been showing resilience in attending to the needs of the taxpayers and in expediting clearances of goods particularly Covid-relief material. Let the good work continue. Do take care.
(M. Ajit Kumar)
All Officers and Staff of Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Custom