Beginning 1st July, 2013, Customs clearance of all export goods will take place on 24×7 basis from four major Air Cargo Complexes/airports i.e., Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai. Thus, all exports including those made under export incentives scheme as well as duty drawback scheme will now be able to be move out of the country on 24×7 basis. Government expects this initiative to greatly facilitate the exporting community and boost the country’s export by reducing dwell time and enabling exporters to meet their deadlines.

The expansion of the 24×7 facility at the four major Air Cargo Complexes/Airports follows closely on the heels of similar customs clearance facility for exports made under Free Shipping Bills i.e. without claiming export incentives with effect from (w.e.f.) 1st June, 2013 from all thirteen (13) EDI connected Air Cargo Complexes/Airports in the country. These 13 Air Cargo Complexes/Airports are Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Cochin, Calicut, Coimbatore, Goa, Hyderabad, Indore, Jaipur, Kolkata, Nashik, Vishakhapatnam and Thiruvananthapuram.

The extension of 24×7 customs clearance facility for imports and exports has been under consideration of Government for some time. Thus, last year w.e.f. 1st September, 2012, the customs began functioning on 24×7 basis to clear select export consignments under Free Shipping Bills as well as identified import consignments which were facilitated by its Electronic Risk Assessment System. This was begun on pilot basis at four ports i.e. Chennai, JNPT, Kolkata and Kandla and four airports i.e., Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai. The facility was welcomed by the trade and industry which appreciated the fact that the customs had taken this step to facilitate exports despite facing serious staff constraints. The present expansion of the 24×7 customs clearance facility to all exports from identified customs stations addresses the requirement of exporters who export under export incentive schemes and would allow them to exploit their full potential.

Source: Press Information Bureau, GOI

Service Tax Voluntary Compliance Encouragement Scheme (ST-VCES): An Opportunity Not to Miss!

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To encourage voluntary compliance and broaden  the  tax  base,  Finance  Minister  Shri  P Chidambram  in his budget speech  on February 28, 2013  proposed to provide one time amnesty by way of (i) waiver of  interest and penalty; and (ii) immunity from prosecution, to the stop filers, non-filers or non-registrants or service providers
(who  have  not  disclosed  true  liability  in  the returns  filed  by  them  during  the  period  from October  2007  to  December  2012)  who  pay  the “tax dues”.
The scheme will be operational from the date  on  which  the  Finance  Bill,  2013  receives the assent of the President. Continue reading