06.06.2024: Centre proposes new excise law, ease of doing business in focus

The Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs has invited suggestions on the draft ‘Central Excise Bill, 2024’, which aims to enact a comprehensive modern central excise law with an emphasis on promoting ease of doing business and repealing old and redundant provisions.

The main aim of this bill is to remove outdated and redundant provisions following the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST). This Bill addresses the long-standing demand from industry players to align excise duty provisions with GST legislation, experts say.

The Bill comprises twelve chapters, 114 sections and two schedules. Stakeholders have been asked to send their comments on the bill by June 26. Once enacted, the bill will replace the Central Excise Act, 1944.

An expert says that the drafting of the Central Excise Bill 2024 is a critical step towards modernising India’s tax framework and ensuring that it is in line with the current economic environment and GST legislation. 

The bill has been drafted keeping in mind the limited applicability of the law in respect of specific goods that are leviable to Central Excise duty such as certain tobacco and petroleum products. “This is a much needed revamp as majority of the goods are not leviable to Central Excise law pursuant to the introduction of GST in the year 2017,” another expert said. 

The law has been revamped to resolve some of the past and ongoing disputes and the government would be entrusted with the powers to extend time limits in special circumstances due to force majeure or pass orders to remove difficulties. The concept of CENVAT Credit, which was previously a code in itself, is proposed to be incorporated as part of the new bill, he noted.

Moreover, the bill intends to borrow the concept of ‘related persons’ from the customs law. With respect to the limitation, the time limit for claiming refund by assessee’s is proposed to be reduced from 2 years to 1 year, while the departmental authorities may get 3 years time to raise demands. 

Source: Financial Express

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