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FM ups verge for appeals in service tax, customs cases
December, 18th 2015

In a bid to reduce litigations related to indirect taxes, the government raised the threshold limit for filing appeals before CESTAT and High Courts to Rs 10 lakh and Rs 15 lakh, respectively.

The Finance Ministry said in a statement that the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) has taken a number of initiatives to facilitate trade and resolve disputes.

"A slew of measures were taken to enable effective and speedy dispute resolution and to facilitate the trade and industry. The threshold limit below which appeals are not to be filed by the department in CESTAT (Tribunal) and High Courts has been raised to Rs 10 lakhs and Rs 15 lakhs respectively," it said.

Besides, there will be withdrawal of all cases in High Courts and CESTAT where there is precedent Supreme Court decision, against which no review contemplated, the Finance Ministry said.

The Ministry further said that pre show cause notice consultation at the level of Principal Commissioner/ Commissioner has been made mandatory in all the cases where duty involved is above Rs 50 lakh.

Further, Zonal Chief Commissioners and Principal Commissioners have been directed to hold monthly or bi-monthly meetings with all the adjudicating and appellate authorities in their respective zone and advice them on how to pass good adjudication/appellate orders, said the statement.

"Persistent ignoring of such advice would render the officer concerned liable to action," the statement said.

Also, training institute will impart intense training to train officers on the qualities of a good adjudication order, advocacy, interpretation of statue as well as drafting of laws, it added further.

Customs Excise & Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) is an independent forum to hear appeals against orders and decisions passed by the Commissioners of Customs and Excise relating to service tax, customs and central excise.

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