The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) has asserted that getting funds sanctioned for the department at various stages is a “huge” problem, which in turn affects efficiency and tax collection.
The department had sought Rs. 1,300 crore in 2011 for technology upgradations but was finally granted only Rs. 250 crore last year, which sources said was just “enough for the existing work to continue but was not enough to faciliate the department to take on the added work load and improve the efficiency levels”.
“The efficiency of the department could improve hugely if sufficient funds were made available for technology upgradation.” JM Shanti Sundharam, chairperson, CBEC told HT.
The finance ministry had indicated that meeting the indirect tax target of Rs. 6.24 lakh crore for the current financial year may be challenging and would depend on the revival of the economy and manufacturing sector.
“We will do our best to achieve the set target but yes they are stiff,” Sundharam said.
Sundharam added that her department had suggested installation of modern, efficient scanners at ports and airports to ensure the quality of imported goods but after a long drawn process the CBEC got approval for installation of scanners at only three ports — Cochin, Mundra and Nhava Sheva.
She also pointed out that several projects aimed at improving and modernising the functioning of the department are held up at various levels, which must be taken up at the earliest to ensure efficiency of the taxmen.