CAG calls for close scrutiny as unrealised indirect tax revenue mounts to over Rs74,000 crore

22 September 2014

Tax authorities in the country are yet to realise over Rs74,000 crore in central excise and service tax revenue for 2012 -13, on various grounds, including injunctions or appeals.

As of 31 March 2013, a total of 37,652 cases involving revenue of Rs74,861.71 crore (Rs53,521.86 crore related to central excise and Rs21,339.85 crore in service tax) is pending in the 'call book', the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) said in its report.

A call book is a set of records of those central excise and service tax cases where the demand could not be realised due to reasons such as court appeals and injunctions from courts, etc.

The CAG has called for a close monitoring of call book items which are of ''very high'' value and asked the finance ministry to look into them to find out how many of them could be really retained.

''We tabulated the performance of the department in respect of call book clearance in central excise during recent years and noted that the pendency of cases in the call book is still very high, indicating the need for close monitoring of the process of review of call book items,'' the report said.

The call book had reported pending cases of central excise worth Rs46,727.46 crore in 2011-12 and Rs42,207.90 crore during 2010-11.

The call book pendency of service tax cases was Rs. 20,273.45 crore and Rs. 15,667.47 crore during 2011-12 and 2010-11, respectively.

The increase in the number of pending recovery in call books and the increase in revenue involved ''indicating the need for close monitoring, including monitoring of the efficacy,'' CAG said.

As per the instructions of Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), call book cases need to be reviewed on a monthly basis. The review may result in ''substantial reduction'' in the number of unconfirmed demands in the call book, the instructions state, CAG said.

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