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CBEC to improve tax collection procedure
January, 28th 2009

The central board of excise and customs (CBEC) said on Tuesday that the steps taken to improve tax collection has led to higher
receipts from units located in North East and hill states, some ceramic tile factories and makers of pan masala and gutka.

CBEC chairman P C Jha said here that the Board's focus is on improving efficiency in tax collection and tracking down tax evaders. "Because of these steps, tax receipts from pan masala and gudka has gone up four times this year from last year's levels.

We have also restricted tax refunds to units in regions including North East and Jammu and Kashmir to only the actual value addition achieved there. As a result, we have reduced tax refunds by Rs 900 crore in the first nine months of the fiscal", Mr Jha said on the margins of a function to confer Presidential awards to officials. He, however, declined to reply to a question on whether the government would meet the indirect tax receipts target.

While addressing officials at the international customs day function here earlier in the day, minister of state for revenue S S Palanimanickam directed customs officials to take swift and effective action against those who smuggle banned substances.

Noting that a fine balance needs to be maintained between facilitation and enforcement, the minister said, "Technology and skill need to be employed to ensure best services to those who comply with the law."

Palanimanickam said the customs department has helped in "checking
smuggling of environmentally sensitive goods such as red sanders, star tortoises, ozone depleting substances, non-virgin plastic and municipal wastes." The Minister also underlined the need for increased international co-operation to combat the menace of illegal trans-border movements of offensive goods.

Speaking on the occasion, Revenue Secretary P V Bhide said the customs department should focus on fighting counterfeit, piracy and illicit trafficking in drugs in the same way as it focuses on revenue collection. It must work towards preventing smuggling in environmentally sensitive goods, he added.

Mr Bhide also said that the department must brace itself for effective and speedy grievance redressal and transparent governance. "It must engage in a continuous dialogue with all stake holders for speedy grievance redressal," he said.

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