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Customs - Free Baggage Allowance for pax up to 10 years of age - Bungling Royale by CBEC?

DDT in Limca Book of RecordsTIOL-DDT 1856
14.05.2012
Monday

 

 

THE Finance Minister of India does not need an opposition party - his bureaucrats are out to embarrass him and make him do all kinds of bungling with the Law.

What is the Free Baggage Allowance for passengers up to 10 years of age returning after stay abroad of more than three days?

An alert Netizen raised this question before us recently. DDT called up several airports right across the country and all Customs Officers were unanimous in their view that it is Rs. 6000/-

In his Budget Speech 2012, in Para 217, the Finance Minister said,

Baggage allowance for Indians travelling abroad was last revised in 2004. I propose to increase the duty-free allowance for eligible passengers of Indian origin from Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 35,000 and for children of up to 10 years from Rs. 12,000 to Rs. 15,000 .

In his DO Letter, D.O.F.No.334/ 3/2012-TRU dated 16.03.2012, the Joint Secretary, TRU repeated the statement of the Finance Minister in Para 21.1

21. Baggage Allowance:

21.1. The duty-free allowance under the Baggage Rules is being increased from Rs.25000 to Rs. 35000 for passengers of Indian origin and from Rs. 12000 to Rs. 15000 for children upto 10 years of age.

Accordingly, Notification No. 21/2012 – Cus NT was issued on 17.03.2012, which amended the Baggage Rules as follows:

In the Baggage Rules, 1998, in Appendix A, in column (2),-

(i) against item number (a) in column (1), for “Rs. 25,000”, “Rs. 35,000” shall be substituted;

(ii) against item number (b) in column (1), for “Rs. 12,000”, “Rs. 15,000” shall be substituted.

So, both the FM and the JS spoke in one voice and affirmed that the baggage allowance for passengers below ten years was Rs. 12,000/- and it has been increased to Rs. 15,000.

But the Law and facts are otherwise.

It is Appendix A to the Baggage Rules, which is the subject here. This Appendix A prior to its amendment by Notification No. 21/2012-Cus NT on 17.03.2012, read as:

Appendix A
(See rule 3)

Articles allowed free of duty

1

2

(a) All passengers of and above 10 years of age and returning after stay abroad of more than three days.

(i) Used personal effects, excluding jewellery, required for satisfying daily necessities of life.

(ii) Articles other than those mentioned in Annex. I upto a value of Rs. 25,000 if these are carried on the person or in the accompanied baggage of the passenger.

(b) All passengers of and above 10 years of age and returning after stay abroad of three days or less.

(i) Used personal effects, excluding jewellery, required for satisfying daily necessities of life.

(ii) Articles other than those mentioned in Annex. I upto a value of Rs. 12,000 if these are carried on the person or in the accompanied baggage of the passenger.

(c) All passengers up to 10 years of age and returning after stay abroad of more than three days.

(i) Used personal effects, excluding jewellery, required for satisfying daily necessities of life.

(ii) Articles other than those mentioned in Annex. I upto a value of Rs. 6,000 if these are carried on the person or in the accompanied baggage of the passenger.

(d) All passengers upto 10 years of age and returning after stay abroad of three days or less.

(i) Used personal effects, excluding jewellery, required for satisfying daily necessities of life.

(ii) Articles other than those mentioned in Annex. I upto a value of Rs. 3,000 if these are carried on the person or in the accompanied baggage of the passenger.

Please note that only (a) and (b) above were amended by the Budget Notification 21/2012 and not (c) which actually related to the baggage allowance for passengers up to ten years of age about which the Finance Minister and the JS made announcements in their pronouncements. And that was contained in (c). The wise babus forgot to amend (c) and thereby did not give effect to what the FM solemnly announced in Parliament and which the Hon'ble JS communicated in his DO Letter.

So, the Baggage Allowance for passengers upto 10 years of age remained at Rs. 6,000 in spite of the FM's announcement in Parliament. And it was not Rs. 12,000 as announced by the FM in Parliament and confirmed by the JS in his DO Letter. So, on 16.3.2012, neither the FM nor the JS knew what the baggage allowance exactly was. (Why should we blame junior Customs officers in airports?). The FM has no means of knowing it except through the CBEC, but if the CBEC does not know, what can this poor country do? The babus show their contempt for the Supreme Court by invoking Parliament's supremacy and by creeping lizards into the FM's speech. But obviously they have no respect for Parliament and the FM – they would callously allow the FM to tell Parliament that baggage allowance for passengers below 10 years was Rs. 12000 when it actually was Rs. 6000.

The Final Correction: Anyway, finally Board has corrected the mistake by issuing Notification No. 37/2012 – Cus NT dated 23.04.2012 amending the Baggage Rules;

In the Baggage Rules, 1998, in Appendix A, in column (2), against item number (c) in column (1), for “Rs 6,000”, “Rs 15,000” shall be substituted.

And strangely, this Notification issued on 23.04.2012 was not available for money or love till 11.05.2012.

But, will somebody explain why a concession announced in Parliament by the FM on 16.03.2012, was not implemented by the Board till 23.04.2012?

The ultimate Authority for TAX LAW in India is not the Minister, not the Parliament, not the Supreme Court – but the Under Secretary in the Board, who obviously has no respect for any of these institutions!

Supremacy of Parliament over Supreme Court? The Babu has the last laugh.

Notification No. 37/2012-Cus.,(N T), Dated: April, 23, 2012

Mamata Banerjee has no account in any Foreign Bank - Justice Katju

NEWSPAPERS yesterday reported that Press Council of India Chairman and former Supreme Court Judge Justice Markandeya Katju certified that West Bengal CM, Mamata Banerjee does not have an account in any foreign bank. How does the Hon'ble Justice know this? Even the Finance Minister cannot certify this. He may know about those who DO have accounts, but can he certify on those who DO NOT have accounts in foreign banks? Has the Justice any machinery to find out and certify as to who has an account abroad and who does not have one? Can the Citizens apply to the Hon'ble Chairman of the Press Council for a certificate to the effect that they do not have accounts in foreign banks? The Justice further certified that Didi is a unique personality; is a great leader and has integrity of the highest order. Justice Katju who is a Mimamsa expert also feels that Sachin Tendulkar should not be given the Bharat Ratna!

Lady Customs Officer in CBI Net

IT seems a lady Customs Officer along with a couple of Customs Agents were arrested in Chennai by CBI on Saturday on charge of accepting bribes to clear containers. CBI recovered imported electronic goods, consumer durables, air-refreshers, juicers, toys and other articles from her house, apart from Rs. 55,000 in cash.

Now look at the plight of this woman - she is about 38 years old and is now in jail. What is the fate of her family - how will her children react to their mother being in jail for taking bribe? Is it worth it?

Jurisprudentiol – Tuesday's cases

Legal Corner IconMVAT

Input Credit - No set off without any tax being received into Government Treasury: HC

THE legislature did not contemplate the grant of a set off without any tax being received into the Government Treasury. The grant of a set off without the receipt of tax into the treasury would result in a loss of revenue, a consequence, which the provision for set off, does not contemplate.

Actually Paid – Meaning of: In the context in which the words “actually paid” are used in the MVAT Act, “actually paid” means what has been as a matter of fact deposited in the treasury.

Income Tax

Whether, for purpose of computing capital gains, day on which an asset is acquired or day on which an asset is transferred, is to be added or excluded - NO, rules Delhi HC

THE appellant is an individual and had income from salary and other sources. The appellant had made investments and had also earned income as long term and short-term capital gains on mutual fund instruments and securities. The appellant had sold two mutual fund instruments and had shown the income earned as long term capital gains. The appellant treated gain of Rs.18,31,241/- as exempt u/s 10(38) as STT was paid. The gain of Rs.2,72,386/- was also treated as long term capital gain and claimed to be exempt u/s 54EC. The AO treated the two gains as short term capital gains on the ground that the instruments had not been held for a period of more than 12 months immediately preceding the date of transfer. The CIT(A) held that the instruments were held for 12 months and the gains were, therefore, not short term capital gains. The Revenue succeeded before the tribunal.

On Appeal before the High Court, the Revenue contended that the asset must be held for a period of more than 36 months or 12 months plus one day i.e. the date when the transfer was made. The date on which the transfer was made had to be excluded. The aforesaid submission was made on the basis of the language of Section 2(42A) and the words “more than” used therein along with the expression “immediately preceding the date of transfer”.

Central Excise

Exports - Refund of CENVAT Credit - Relevant date is date on which final products are cleared for export: HC

A reading of the Rule, though there is no specific relevant date prescribed in the notification, the relevant date must be the date on which the final products are cleared for export. If any other conclusion is arrived, it will result in disentitling any person to make a claim of refund of CENVAT Credit.

See our columns Tomorrow for the judgements

Until Tomorrow with more DDT

Have a Nice Day

Mail your comments to vijaywrite@taxindiaonline.com

 RECENT DISCUSSION(S) POST YOUR COMMENTS
   
 
Sub: Lady customs officer in CBI net

These officers never learn. Greed for more and more easy money.

Unfortunately, her children could not celebrate 'mother's day' yesterday - what wrong have they done that they have to carry this bad name all their lives!

Probably such officers never bother to read what Vijay Kumar sir advises all the time.


Posted by sachin deshmukh
 
Sub: free allowance bungling

It is a typical case of Babu types and Secretary signs. All the in between levels are guggi maar, but sure go to every business seminar. For the kinds of errors one receives a charge sheet in the field, the US/DS/DIRECTOR/ JS/ADDL.Sec continue to hold charge unabashedly without any questions asked because the top man in the Ministry has also lent his signatures. So, may ask orally but will not do the same in writing. Deepak tale andhera.

Posted by manni singh
 

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