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Inox Wind: Documentation for most CCDC certificates not ‘readily available’

Twesh Mishra New Delhi | Updated on October 16, 2020 Published on October 16, 2020

Inox Wind is currently under the DRI scanner for making false claims and availing itself of benefits through Concessional Customs Duty Exemption Certificates   -  Bloomberg

DRI had sought documentation on Customs duty exemption certificates issued in last five years

Documentation that supports the issuance of a large number of Concessional Custom Duty Exemption Certificates (CCDC) to Inox Wind are not readily available with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.

According to officials in the know, this is in the backdrop of the Department of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) investigating these certificates as they appear to be dispensed on questionable grounds.

“We have sent a reply to DRI on the issue. All certificates for recent years are available and copies sent. DRI will investigate any aspect if they feel that there are some issues,” an MNRE statement in response to queries from BusinessLine said.

Under the lens

Inox Wind is currently under the DRI scanner for making false claims and availing itself of benefits through Concessional Customs Duty Exemption Certificates (CCDC). The DRI is said to be investigating the alleged misuse of benefits by Inox Wind on import of converter cabinets.

While most of the wind energy generation equipment in the country is domestically manufactured, some are imported. The wind turbine power converter cabinet is one such equipment.

According to officials in the know, over 400 CCDCs were issued to Inox Wind during 2015-2016 but documentation is readily available only for around 100 certificates. Further, the applications which Inox Wind had submitted to avail these benefits were available for less than a third of the CCDCs that have been issued that year.

In 2016-17, there were around 250 CCDCs issued of which applications are available for just around a third.

More detailed documentation is available for CCDCs issued in subsequent years but the numbers declined significantly. According to multiple officials in the know, the decline in issuances had coincided with more scrutiny and an apparent digitisation of the CCDC issuance process.

According to officials in the know, “For earlier years complete documents are not available. Normally in any organisation old records are destroyed.”

Also read: Gear import duty: Inox Wind under DRI lens for ‘false’ claims

BusinessLine reported in September 2020 that the DRI investigation is in the early stages, but searches have been conducted at the office premises of Inox Wind in Noida.

FinMin notification

MNRE issues CCDC certificates to recognised manufacturers, according to the Ministry of Finance notification dated July 30, 2017. This is done to promote local manufacturing of wind energy turbines and its components. Importers get Customs duty exemption if the imported components are used for domestic manufacturing or maintenance of wind-operated electricity generators.

The DRI is said to be investigating the alleged duty evasion and loss to the exchequer. It is estimated that CCDCs worth around ₹150 crore are issued by MNRE every day. It is still unclear what quantum was availed by Inox Wind and how much of it was falsified.

An importer company can avail itself of Customs duty exemption if it furnishes, in all cases, a certificate to the Deputy Commissioner of Customs or the Assistant Commissioner of Customs. This certificate is to be issued by an officer not below the rank of a Deputy Secretary to the Government in the MNRE recommending the grant of duty exemption.

The role of officials who issued the certificates may also come under the DRI investigation.

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Published on October 16, 2020
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