The minimum threshold limit for Settlement Commission(Customs and Central Excise) for adjudicating on cases related to indirect tax disputes has been raised from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 3 lakh from June 2007.
"Anyone who has been slapped with a showcause notice, with a tax liability of Rs 3 lakh or beyond can approach the Settlement Commission, provided the case is not pending in an Appellate Tribunal", said Sunipa Basu, vice president of Settlement Commission(Customs and Central Excise), Kolkata.
However, the concerned individual or company cannot question the legality of the commission's decision.
E-filing of returns have been made mandatory, effective from June 2007 for all those paying excise or customs duties of Rs 50 lakh and beyond, she stated.
The powers of the Settlement Commission(Customs and Central Excise) have been curtailed.
Giving details of this matter, Basu said cases of outright smuggling and evasion have been kept out of the purview of the commission. Basu was speaking on the occasion of a seminar on Central Excise, Customs, Service Tax and VAT: Laws and Procedures, organised by Calcutta Management Association(CMA) under the patronage of Patton International Limited.
In Customs, the deemed value has been replaced by transaction value, which implies that tax will be imposed on the price that one pays for the goods, Basu informed reporters.
Speaking on the occasion, RK Mishra, additional commissioner, central excise, Kolkata referred to the system of Risk Management, introduced last year. This system has allowed a large number of goods to be cleared without scrutiny.
"It is not feasible to do a thorough check on all the goods and so now the focus is on observing the behaviour of the industry", Mishra said.
Mishra also hinted at the Goods and Services Tax, which is likely to be introduced in 2010.
About Rs 1,22,000 crore worth of central excise duties were collected last year, thereby accounting for 36 per cent of the total tax collection, Mishra claimed.