As indirect tax collections fall, CBEC looks for new strategy

Under pressure to meet the budgetary tax collection target, the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) chairperson is holding a meeting of chief commissioners of all zones early next week to devise a strategy for boosting the falling revenue collection.

Indirect tax collections for April-October period grew just 16.7 per cent as against the asking rate of 29 per cent, raising alarm bells in the department.

With just four months remaining, the CBEC wants to leave no stone unturned to meet the annual target of Rs 5,05,044 crore. It has already directed its officials to start the process of adjudication and recover dues from the tax offenders urgently.

"The department is under intense pressure to meet the target given the critical fiscal deficit situation," an official told The Indian Express.

Finance minister P Chidambaram has been calling frequent meetings to get updates about the revenue situation, the official said.

"The main concern for the department is a steep decline in the growth rate of customs duty collection due to falling imports. The customs duty collection stood at Rs 13,924 crore in October, up 12.7 per cent as against the asking rate of 25 per cent," the official said.

The excise duty mop up stood at Rs 11,622 crore during the month, up 24 per cent against the asking rate of over 33 per cent. Only service tax collection performed robustly at Rs 10,472 crore, up 42.7 per cent as against the asking rate of 27.4 per cent.

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