Some Members have made very valuable suggestions that we should simplify and rationalise the provisions of the Bill. The hon. Finance Minister has said that along with the policy to make structural changes in the economic policy, industrial policy and the trade policy, efforts are now on way to make substantial change in the direct and indirect tax laws which include customs and excise laws, to simpllfy them.

It was rightly pointed out by Bhogendra Jhaji that we have got the name of Custom and Salt Act. Certainly it is not befitting and we will take care of the suggestions made about the name and also about the contents of the law and shall try to make them as simple as possible, as rational as possible, so that the disputes ar minimized and those who are effected - the manufacturers, importers, consumers as well as the assessing officers - have no difficulty in implementing the law in future.

There was a general point in regard to the complication that we get by issuing notification every month, every week and sometimes daily. I would like to assure the hon. Members that as per the decision of the Finance Minister and our Ministry, now there is no such system of issuing notifications every day, every week or even every month. The decision is primarily to have notifica-

507 Central Excises & Customs Laws (Amend.) Bill

[Sh. Rameshwar Thakur]

tions to give effect to the provisions of the Budget and may be in very important and urgent cases some notifications may be there - may be half-yearly but very rarely, but no regular notifications will be there.

Shri Rasa Singh Rawat: has been good enough to ask about various aspects. Today in his own words:-


He says that it could be certified that tax had not been recovered from the buyer. Now let me deal with the term 'buyer' which has been provided in the Bill. This Bill provides that the producer will have to evaluate the actual cost of production, the sale price and the tax to be paid. All these details will have to be furnished to the Government and then the Tax department will calculate the tax to be paid by the producer. In order to avoid that the producer does not grab the tax amount, he will be asked to deposit the same with the department in advance. Now we will treat the claim submitted by the producer as final without sending it for adjudication. The money deposited by the producer is actually not the money which was collected from the consumers. In this case, the money deposited by the producer will be refunded to him. Now the tax amount which the producer will collect from the consumers would be deposited by the producer will be refunded to him. Now the tax amount which the producer will collect from the consumers would be deposited in the Consumer Welfare Fund. While framing rules for the fund, various suggestions that have been made by the hon. Members would be considered. At the same time, it would be seen whether the duty collected from the consumers could be refunded to them. If this scheme does not provepractical, the Government would enact laws which would prove beneficial to the consumers. It has been asked as to why the amount that was collected earlier has not been transferred to the Consumer Welfare Fund. This happened earlier because the

508 Central Excises & Customs Laws (Amend.) Bill

law to this effect has not been enacted. That is why the Public Accounts Committee recommended for enacting a law. The Government will strictly follow this law to utilise the extra that was collected in a wrong manner. But there is no provision to utilise the money which has already been collected Efforts will be made to implement the scheme with retrospective effect. We will make all endeavours to ensure that the above amount is also deposited in the Consumer Welfare Fund. Shri Chatterjee said that


nexus between the manufacturers as well as the collecting authorities and so on. He is a very knowledgeable person. We have already appreciated his contributions to the PAC and in fact it was one of his suggestions about the Consumers Welfare Fund which we have established. But the question is that there may be some weakness in the system. But, so far, we have got a very bright and good officer, may be some weaknesses are there, We will try our best to ensure that the taxes which are due are paid to the Government, refund should go to the consumers refunds which can not be given to the consumers, will go to this fund. These efforts will be made. As regards his clarifications, we will take care as has already been explained under Sections 11. They will have to explain what is the price, what is the duty and, therefore, there will be no difficulty and as you said they will be merged together. They will have to explain it because it has to be approved by the Department in advance.

Similarly, there were other successions. Let me assure the hon.

Members that their suggestions will be duly considered and we will take full advantage of their suggestions. We are grateful to them for their wholehearted support to our Bill and this Bill will be a historic Bill.

MR. SPEAKER: The question is: "That the Bill further to amend the Central Excises and Salt Act, 1944 and the Customs Act, 1962, be taken into a consideration".

509 Central Excises & Customs Laws (Amend.) Bill

The Motion was adopted

MR. SPEAKER: The House will now take up Clause by Clause

consideration of the Bill. There are no amendments. The question is: