For Hand Tool exporters of the city, who are already losing ground to their Chinese counterparts due to lack of technological up-gradation, over pricing of export items by some of the exporters to clinch incentives has emerged as ‘curse’ for the genuine exporters, as it made it difficult for them to stay in cut-throat global competition.
In the recently convened meeting by the Central Excise & Customs Department and Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), some of the leading hand tool exporters strongly raked up the issue of ‘mal practice’ adopted by some of the ‘unscrupulous’ exporters.
Chairman of the Hand Tool Panel of Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC) and leading exporter, MK Bhandari, demanded immediate action by the concerned department to curb the menace of such ‘bogus’ export.
Talking to Hindustan Times, one of the Hand Tool Exporters, Ashwani Kumar said that over pricing of the export items enables such unscrupulous exporters to earn at least three times more export incentives and later on they further sell such items to international buyers at much lower price to push down the genuine exporters out of competition.
Explaining the modus operandi of such ‘menace’, Kumar said “some of the exporters have their agents at Dubai and they export the hand tools, but show it as other costly products, of course with the connivance of customs officials, to claim the export incentives”.
“Once the items reach Dubai, agents of the exporters after making the payment of export items through legal channels, get the margin money back from through hawala transactions”, Kumar said adding that then the Hand products are further exported to European countries at lower price, which is not viable for any genuine exporter.
One of the top exporter of the city, Suresh Sharma said that there is an urgent need to put a curb to such a menace, as non-action by the concerned authorities, is not only discouraging the genuine exporters, but more and more exporters are adopting the practice for ‘lucrative’ returns.
“Role of custom officials is also very dubious, as without their connivance, it is not possible to continue the ‘racket of over pricing’ of export items”, Sharma added.
When contacted by HT, Deputy Commissioner of Customs Department, Vijay Bahadur admitted that there is growing menace of such a ‘mal practice’ among exporters and said “We have instructed the apex body of the Hand Tool exporters to provide us the price range of the their all products, so that over invoicing could be tackled by the department according to the provided list”.
“Once, we come to know the price range of particular product, only then we may go for thorough checking of the suspicious containers”, he added.
Chairman of the Hand Tool Panel of EEPC, MK Bhandari said that price list of each and every product is being finalized and very soon, it would be submitted to Customs Department.