Customs Law Bill Amendment introduced in Lok Sabha

Category: International Trade Sub-category: Customs
Document type: news

11-August-2011 | 11:23 IST | Edited by: Suman Chatterjee

Customs DutyA Bill was passed at the Lok Sabha, amending the customs law with an aim to recover thousands of crores of rupees from tax evasion acts.

The Bill was necessary due to the large number of show cause notices, send by Customs personnel, being invalidated by the Supreme Court on the ground that these were not 'proper' officials. The Bill seeks to counteract Supreme Court's action, by allotting the 'proper officers' tag on certain Customs officers, thereby validating their show cause notices for demand of customs duty.

Earlier, the Customs Act (1962) Amendment proposal was approved by the Union Cabinet, whereby certain officers were designated to have the authority to assess import duty. These officers were specified as 'proper officers' on July 6 and were mainly chosen from the retrospective perspective.

"Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in judgment, decree or order of any court of law...all persons appointed as officers of customs...before July 6, 2011 shall be deemed to have and always had the power of assessment... and have been proper officers for the purpose (to issue show cause notice)," the Bill listed in the House of Lok Sabha said.    

Consequently, the amendment of the Bill will help recover several thousands of crores from tax evaders, who could bypass the exchequer on technical grounds. Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) officers alone reported show cause notices of around Rs 7,500 crores.

The Bill amendment would help in the recovery of illegal money from the show-cause notices issued by the various tax authorities, viz. Commissionerates of Customs, DRI, Directorate General of Central Excise Intelligence and Central Excise Commissionerates.

 External Links

Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) - Official website

Nominated Banks for Central Excise Commissionerates - Official website

Indian Parliament - Official website

Lok Sabha - Official website

Directorate General of Central Excise Intelligence - Official website