The income-tax department will not conduct search and seizure operations against jewellers with a turnover of up to Rs 6 crore or challenge valuations regarding purity or weight of the metal, though the government will not withdraw the 1% excise duty on silver jewellery.
These are part of the recommendations of a panel headed by former chief economic adviser Ashok Lahiri.
According to the panel, which submitted its report to the finance ministry last month, jewellers with turnover of over Rs 12 crore will be subject to the 1% excise duty, as well as searches and seizures by the I-T department.
Finance minister Arun Jaitley announced the 1% excise duty in the budget. Following the announcement, jewellers went on an over two-week long strike, prompting the finance ministry to give assurances to jewellers about minimum interface from the tax department. The ministry had also announced procedures to be followed till the committee submitted its recommendations, which included not challenging the valuation regarding purity or weight of the metal in the invoice, and an assurance of no criminal prosecution or seizure of stocks.
“We are studying the report…a final decision will be taken soon... however, it has been very clearly decided that those with a turnover of Rs 6 crore will face no scrutiny and from Rs 6 crore to Rs 12 crore, there will be limited scrutiny,” a senior finance ministry official, who did not wish to be identified, told HT.
The sub-committee was set up in March to interact with trade and industry representatives on the imposition of the central excise duty. This committee looked into issues related to compliance procedures, including maintaining records, filling up forms and other relevant issues.
According to an earlier circular issued by the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), the deadline for jewellers to get registered with the central excise department was extended to July 31. The circular also said that jewellers can settle excise dues for the March-May period along with that of June payments by July 31.