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Twin levies to make up for excise gap

Calcutta, Nov. 14: The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) is banking on service tax and customs duty to compensate for the shortfall in excise duty and meet the revenue target for the current financial year.

The government has set a target of Rs 3,20,000 crore for indirect tax collection in 2008-09.

According to CBEC chairman P.C. Jha, “The actual collection in central excise (an indirect tax levied on manufactured goods) till October this fiscal was Rs 65,322 crore compared with Rs 64,948 crore in the same period last year.”

He was in the city to inaugurate a new office of the central excise and service tax department on EM Bypass.

In September and October, excise collections fell 3.8 per cent and 8.7 per cent year-on-year, respectively, leading to a mere 0.58 per cent growth rate in the first seven months of the 2008-09 fiscal.

The collections in the remaining five months of the current financial year need to grow at a 17.7 per cent rate to meet the target.

“Given the trend, excise collection this year may fall short of the target. There were duty cuts in petrol and diesel post-budget and these impacted the revenue collection,” said Jha.

He hoped that the shortfall in excise would be made up by higher collections of service tax and customs duty.

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