Centre develops new metrics for imports after reports of under-reporting
The Centre has developed new valuation metrics for imports after large-scale under-invoicing of steel imports from China to evade customs duty and GST were unearthed, a report in Mint said.
In April-July, the Directorate General of Valuations under the Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs (CBIC) found out that stainless steel flat products of J3 grade were imported at an average value of Rs 87 per kg as against the similar products of 201 grade imported at an average value of Rs 163 per kg, the report added.
In November, media reports emerged showing a $12 billion mismatch in the Indian and Chinese trade figures between January and September. According to Chinese figures, its trade with India touched $103 billion while India’s data showed that bilateral trade stood at just $91 billion.
Mint report stated that the Indian Stainless Steel Development Association told the government that “substantial” imports of stainless steel flat-rolled products of 201 Grade and 201/J3 dual is cleared at Indian ports at a much lower rate. This was because the importer misrepresents the goods as ‘J3 Grade’ by showing minor changes in chemical composition.
“By a very minor change in the chemistry, the importer can show a difference which then translates into two different grades and leads to a difference in the value,” the ISSDA told Centre, as reported by Mint.
Additionally, recent reports show that customs authorities have issued notices to 32 importers since September for suspected tax evasion of about Rs 16,000 crore through under-invoicing.
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