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The Central Excise department has issued property attachment orders in respect of 40 cases with a view to recovering service tax debit to the tune of over Rs 50 crore.
"We have started issuing property attachment orders to recover service tax debit which have not been realised for several years now," a senior Central Excise department (Chandigarh division) official said. Those served attachment notices include cricketer Uday Kaul (Rs 10 lakh in service tax dues) and Star Constructions (tax arrears of Rs 5.5 crore), the official said. It is learnt that attachment orders were being issued for those cases where the court or appellate authority has not granted any stay on tax recovery by the department. The department has also started writing directly to the brand owners to ensure tax payment by their agents and franchises in a move which it hopes would quicken the realisation of tax debits. "We are writing to brand owners to deduct the tax component before making any payments to such agents to ensure clearance of tax dues not paid by these authorised agents or franchises," official added. The department has also issued instructions to freeze the bank accounts of state-owned Punjab Roadways for non-payment of service tax to the tune of Rs 8 crore on its rental income. The Chandigarh division of the Central Excise Department has set an ambitious target of collecting service tax to the tune of Rs 700 crore in the current fiscal, that is, 55 per cent more than what it mobilised in the last fiscal.