Kochi Chamber plea for tax tribunal bench

V. Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on November 12, 2013

The Cochin Chamber of Commerce and Industry has favoured setting up of a Customs, Excise and Service Tax Tribunal (CESTAT) in Kochi.

The chamber has urged the Corporate Affairs Ministry to consider Kerala’s longstanding demand for a CESTAT bench here for faster disposal of cases and to reduce pendency.

In a representation to Union Minister Sachin Pilot, the Chamber said at present all service tax assessees in Kerala were required to appear before the CESTAT at Bangalore, which was already overburdened with cases from Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. The backlog of cases as on date was huge and the appeals being heard now were supposed to relate to 2007.

According to C.P. Mammen, Chamber President, a lot of cases from Kerala were still pending before the CESTAT bench in Bangalore and any appeal on orders by the Commissioner Appeals and high demand orders in original raised by the adjudicating authority were to be challenged only before the Bangalore bench.

With the economy expected to grow about five per cent and the Revenue Department’s target of a 19 per cent increase in indirect tax collection in the current fiscal, he said it would be beneficial for all service providers to have a separate bench in Kochi to deal with cases arising here.

Currently, revenue of over Rs 20,000 crore was blocked in litigation, he said.

The Government in April had approved a proposal to set up 10 more CESTAT benches across the country and Kochi was one among them. However, it appears that Kochi has been bypassed this time despite the fact that there was an initiative to start the new bench here, the chamber said in the representation.  

Published on November 12, 2013

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