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PAC calls for action on delays in disposal of uncleared cargo

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Mar 17 (UNI) The Public Accounts Committee today took to task the Ministry of Finance and Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) for not taking any concrete action to expedite disposal of cargo at the Inland Container Depots (ICDs) and Container Freight Stations(CFSs) and asked the government to fix responsibility on the errant officials.

The report, tabled in Parliament by PAC Chairman Vijay Kumar Malhotra, observed that the instructions of the Board regarding disposal of uncleared and unclaimed goods were not followed in letter and spirit by the Commissionerates.

The Committee has asked the Ministry to constitute a high level Committee comprising members of CBEC and other experts to go into the entire gamut of functioning of ICDs and CFSs. It desired that the Ministry of Finance should investigate on a case by case delay in disposal of cargo with a view to fixing responsibility on errant officials and Custodians.

''The Board after having issued the necessary instructions did not seem to have bothered to ensure strict compliance by the field officials,'' the PAC said in its 27th Report.

The Report is entitled 'Non- disposal of uncleared and unclaimed imported cargo in ICDs and CFSs.

The Committee stated that not only it was necessary to ensure strict compliance of instructions of the Board, the Department of Revenue should also examine the feasibility of evolving a system of periodical physical verification by an appropriate machinery of the cargo to be disposed of. For this, sepcial cargo disposal cells may be set up in each of the Commissionerates.

The Committee regretted that even after a lapse of more than 3 to 11 years from the date of importation, a large number of containers in respect of six Commissionerates were still awaiting disposal on one pretext or another.

''No concrete action seems to have been taken by the Ministry/Board to expedite disposal of pending cargo. What is surprising is the fact that the Board was just content with issuing routine circulars asking the Commissionrates to speed up the disposal of pending cargo.'' MORE UNI GS MSJ GC1549

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