National auditor CAG has found several cases of non-compliance and escaping of anti-dumping duties besides gaps in export promotion schemes such as the Export Promotion Capital Goods (EPCG) resulting in revenue loss to the exchequer in the financial year 2017-18.
While several instances of short-levying or no-levying of anti-dumping duties amounting to Rs 86.69 crore were reported during the period, a revenue of Rs 306 crore was due from traders who had availed the benefits of EPCG scheme but not fulfilled export obligations.
As regards non/short levying of anti-dumping duty, the department (Customs) accepted observation amounting to Rs 53 crore and reported recovery of Rs 1.20 crore.
What does the report say?
The CAG in its report has said that despite the government assurances on the audit recommendations, there was no substantial improvement in the control and monitoring mechanism of EPCG licences.
"Revenue of Rs 306 crore was due from exporters/importers who had availed of the benefits of EPCG scheme, but had not fulfilled the prescribed export obligations/conditions," the CAG observed.
The auditor said that data for import and export transactions for the year 2017-18 was received with much delay from Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) and that too with many gaps and deficiencies. It noticed 49 cases of under assessments of applicable customs duties due to misclassification of imported goods, incorrect application of general exemption and incorrect levy of applicable levies and other charges.
As a result, revenue of Rs 88.42 crore was at risk.
In case of various export promotion schemes, the CAG scrutiny revealed irregularities in fixation of export obligation, clearances of restricted goods in Domestic Traffic Area, allowing benefits of duty exemption and remission schemes.
"Revenue of Rs 40.51 crore was due from exporters/importers who had availed of the benefits of the duty exemption, but had not fulfilled the prescribed obligations/conditions," the national auditor said.
The CAG also detected irregularities in awarding major works of Santacruz Electronics Export Processing Zone (SEEPZ) Special Economic Zone (SEZ) authority.
"The audit findings are indicative of weak administrative, financial and audit controls over the way in which major works, maintenance and repair works, are being outsourced to external agencies by the authority. The expenditure involved was Rs 67.91 crore," the CAG audit report said.