72% find CBEC policies tax payer friendly: Survey

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New Delhi, June 29 (IANS) As many as 72 per cent people found a perceptible change in the policies of Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) — as becoming liberal and friendly to the tax-payer over the period of last two years, a survey said.

“The key question of the survey was — Do you feel a perceptible change in policies of the CBEC by way of becoming liberal and friendly to the taxpayer? An overwhelming number of respondents, 72 per cent, responded with a yes,” a finance ministry statement said here on Wednesday.

The tax-payers survey, taken by 40,000-45,000 respondents across the country, was jointly conducted by industry body Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) and business consultancy KPMG at the behest of CBEC.

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“The survey was conducted with the objective of garnering a feedback on impact that reforms undertaken during the last two years had on the ground. It sought an opinion on whether the CBEC administration was becoming less adversarial,” the statement said.

Responses showed that 45 per cent people saw an attitudinal change in senior functionaries (Commissioner level and above) while 51 per cent acknowledged an improvement at the ground level, at the level of inspectors and above, it said.

The CBEC’s customs single window project that came into effect from April 1, 2016, brought together six ministries on a single window.

The revenue collection arm also evolved a methodology to solve problems by creating a Whatsapp group for continuously receiving feedback on operational issues. The implementation of the project showed the power of the digital applications in problem solving.

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The survey saw 78 per cent respondents finding improvement in the customs clearance process and 75 per cent said they were satisfied by its IT enabled services.

A total of 49 per cent respondents acknowledged a positive change in processing of refunds while 92 per cent acknowledged the CBEC’s success in simplification of customs and excise business processes.

The survey also brought out the areas on which the respondents expected CBEC to take action, like focus on tax evaders, fast tracking adjudication, reducing litigation, e-communication and improvement in office infrastructure.

The maximum respondents in the survey were from Maharashtra (30 per cent), followed by Delhi (11 per cent). Sectoral responses showed that 46 per cent respondents from service industry, 39 per cent from manufacturing and 15 per cent from the trading community.

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