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Monday, May 12, 2003

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`Tax collection procedures should be simplified'

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THE Tax Department should educate the assessees about the tax laws and make the process of collection as simple, transparent and humane as possible, Dr T.V Sairam, the Chief Commissioner of Central Excise and Customs, Visakhapatnam, has said.

He was delivering the key-note address at the seminar on taxation organised by the Tax Law Research Group here on Sunday.

He said the cost of collection should be far less than the amount collected and for such a tax regime the statutes should also be simple with the least scope for discretion of the individual officer. He also predicted that in future ecological taxes may be levied on polluting industries.

Mr G. Prabhakara Sastry, the convener of the group, said there should be greater interaction between the department and the trade for avoiding unnecessary litigation. He stressed the importance of quick and timely disposal of cases.

Mr S.C. Chowadary, Commissioner of Customs, said it was unfortunate that India's image abroad was not very impressive as an exporter. Recent changes in the Customs Act would pave the way for harsher punishments for export-related offences. Earlier, only import-related offences were punishable. He urged exporters to maintain good quality and stick to time schedules to improve the image of the country.

Mr Ram Prakash, Commissioner of Central Excise, said the trade should be trusted and the powers of officials should be reduced. He called for a judicious, pragmatic approach.

Mr R. Venkataraman, Commissioner of Central Excise and Customs (Appeals), explained the steps initiated by his office for speedy disposal of appeals.

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