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Central excise arrears rose to `59,309 cr in FY14: CAG

Tax arrears towards central excise rose to Rs 59,309 crore in 2013-14, from Rs 45,463 crore a year ago, government auditor CAG said on Tuesday. In its audit report on Indirect Taxes (central excise) tabled in Parliament, Comptroller and Auditor General showed that arrears (pending recovery) have been rising since 2011-12.

At the end of 2011-12, the arrears were Rs 35,964 crore. This rose to Rs 45,463 crore at the end of 2012-13 and further to Rs 59,309 crore in 2013-14, CAG said. During the 2013-14 fiscal, the tax department could realise only Rs 1,178 crore of arrears in central excise, which is 2.59 per cent of the arrears at the commencement of the year which stood at Rs 45,463 crore.

"The collection during 2013-14 has fallen drastically to 2.59 per cent compared to 4.34 per cent in 2012-13 fiscal. There is a need to strengthen the recovery mechanism of the department," the CAG report said. The CAG report further said the revenue foregone on account of central excise exemptions has declined marginally to Rs 1.95 lakh crore during 2013-14 fiscal, from Rs 2.09 lakh crore a year ago. The Rs 1.95 lakh crore was 115 per cent of the total revenue collected from central excise during the said fiscal, it said. Central excise receipts during 2013-14 fiscal were over Rs 1.69 lakh crore. For 2012-13 fiscal, the central excise revenue foregone by the tax department was over Rs 2.09 lakh crore. This was 119 per cent of the excise receipts of over Rs 1.75 lakh crore. 

The CAG report shows that revenue foregone as a percentage of central excise receipts has been coming down from 2009-10 fiscal to 2013-14 fiscal. 

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