'Service tax and excise duty amnesty scheme comes into effect from Sep 1'

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Q. In the recent Budget speech, the finance minister announced an amnesty scheme for service tax and excise duty dues. Is it still available?

The Sabka Vishwas (Legacy Dispute Resolution) Scheme, 2019 is not yet implemented. It shall come into force with effect from September 1, 2019. Please see notification no. 05/2019-Central Excise (NT) dated August 21, 2019, for the necessary forms and Rules. 

Q. In the matter of our EPCG authorisation, the Additional DGFT passed an adjudication order against us in January 2019. We failed to file an appeal against that order within the 90-day time limit. Can you tell us what our options to revive the case are?

First, you may note that as per Commerce Ministry notification no. 101 (RE-103)/2009-14 dated December 5, 2014, your appeal lies with the DGFT aided by one Additional DGFT. Second, as per Section 15 (1) of the Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) Act, 1992, you must prefer an appeal within 45 days from the date on which the decision or order is served on you. The first proviso to that Section allows a further period of 30 days, if the Appellate Authority is satisfied that you were prevented by sufficient cause from preferring the appeal. There is no provision in the said Act to allow you further time to file the appeal. If you think the order is perverse and unsustainable, you may approach the High Court on the grounds that you have no alternate remedy and pray for suitable orders. It would be fully within the discretion of the High Court to take a call on entertaining your petition on the grounds of justice.  

Q. Under the post-export EPCG scheme, we have to pay the import duty upfront and then claim duty credit scrips as and when we fulfil the export obligation, which is based on the duty saved. Can we take credit of IGST paid at the time of import? 

As per Para 5.01 (d) of FTP, “in case Integrated Tax and Compensation Cess are paid in cash on imports under EPCG, incidence of the said Integrated Tax and Compensation Cess would not be taken for computation of net duty saved provided Input Tax Credit is not availed”. 

Q. We understand that the government has instructed that the department should not escalate the cases to Supreme Court, where the amount involved is less than Rs 1 crore. Still, in our case, the government has filed an appeal for amounts less than that limit. Can we take a plea in the Court that it is against the government instructions? 

As per Para 4 of the CBI & C (Judicial Cell) Instruction F. No. 390/Misc./116/2017-JC, dated July 11, 2018, “it may be noted that issues involving substantial questions of law as described in para 1.3 of the Instruction dated 17-8-2011 from F. No. 390/Misc/163/ 2010-JC [2011 (270) E.L.T. (T27)] would be contested irrespective of the prescribed monetary limits”. So, you may refer to that Circular to see if your matter is covered there.

queries related to excise, VAT and exim policy. You can write to us at smechat@bsmail.in

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