Home   >   NEWS & VIEWS   >   News

  • Excise dept seeks to plug loopholes in duty Act

    Mar 31st, 2016

    The excise department has been contemplating to amend Goa Daman & Diu Excise Duty Act and Rules to checkmate traders who have been taking advantage of loopholes in the Act. When the excise department auctions cashew zones on the onset of every cashew season, the response is invariably poor.

    Even during second auctioning, not all zones are taken. Some traders wait till the excise department invites open tenders so that they can rent cashew zones at a cheaper rate than what was offered in the auction.

    The excise department gets revenue of just 30-32 lakh even as it has over 1,500 cashew zones spread across the state. This season itself, 418 cashew zones have not been bidded for.

    Excise commissioner Menino D'Souza said they have observed this trend for some time now, and nothing much could be done about it until the provisions under the Excise Act are modified.

    He said as per the rules they have auction zones that have not been bidded for during the first auction. In the second auction, price quoted is less than what is quoted in the first auction.

    But, despite reducing the price, many a times some zones do remain without bids.

    The excise department suspect this is deliberate by certain traders who know well that during open tender they can take over a zone for a still lesser rate.

    Not surprisingly, as cashew zone auctioning process is completed by March 22, 322 zones had no takers at all whereas in South Goa which has lesser zones, 96 zones were without bids.

    A successful bidder gets the right to the cashew fruits for the season which are primarily used for distilling feni.

    Excise department is contemplating of not throwing open zones through tenders to stop manipulation by the traders. This proposed action would require changes in the rules. The excise commissioner said they want to stop tendering, but, first, the Act needs to be suitably amended.

    Another option being contemplated is to fine those found distilling in the zones that remain without bids. The excise commissioner said they will start acting from this season itself, but it doesn't appear it would act as a major deterrent unless the Act is amended. Existing provisions in the Act, doesn't permit excise department to impose heavy fines for this particular violation.

    The Act requires a major overhaul to cut down traders who have been thriving by taking advantage of the loopholes.w