The government is yet to recover over Rs 280 crore out of the Rs 290 crore customs duty that the tax department detected was not paid earlier this year, on import of aircraft by companies.
Rs 7.84 crore duty has been paid by operators, a Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) source told PTI, adding that total customs duty involved was Rs 290.35 crore.
The CBEC had seized 16 aircraft on which the owners had not paid customs duty.
The aircraft were imported for chartered purposes, but were allegedly used for personal travel. An aircraft imported for chartered purposes attracts 10 per cent customs duty, while a duty of 18 per cent is levied on aircraft bought for personal use.
Any import of aircraft under the Non-Scheduled Operator (NSO) (passenger) category provides for the general public using the aircraft for non-scheduled and chartered flights.
The guidelines prohibit the use of these aircraft for personal use. In case the aircraft is used for personal reasons, the importer has to pay an even higher levy of around 28 per cent.
Nearly 250 private jets were imported in the past two years by allegedly giving wrong information and diverting them for private use, according to sources.
The value of the aircraft seized by the tax department is Rs 1,205 crore, sources said.
The Ambani brothers, Mukesh and Anil, paid the dues when the first batch of notice was sent.
GMR, the Tatas and Oberoi are on the list of firms that were to pay duty. Companies like Punj Lloyd had also come under the customs department's scanner.