A sub-section is proposed to be inserted in Section 113, which states that goods would be liable for confiscation if products entered for exportation under claim of remission or refund of any duty or tax or levy make a ‘wrongful claim’ in contravention of the provisions of this Act.

Apex exporters body FIEO on Wednesday asked the finance ministry to relook at a proposed “harsh and draconian” provision in Budget 2021 related to customs as it will hurt the exporting community and the country’s image as a reliable supplier of goods.

Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) President S K Saraf said certain provisions brought through the Finance Bill have “serious” bearing on exports.

He said the proposed amendment in Section 113 of the Customs Act (which deals with confiscation of goods attempted to be improperly exported) needs a relook as it is “harsh and draconian”.

A sub-section is proposed to be inserted in Section 113, which states that goods would be liable for confiscation if products entered for exportation under claim of remission or refund of any duty or tax or levy make a ‘wrongful claim’ in contravention of the provisions of this Act.

“The word ‘wrongful claim’ is subject to various interpretations and will put exporters at the mercy of field formations even if the remission rates are wrongly calculated or dispute about classification of the product under a particular rate arises.

“The remission rates may be 2 per cent of the product value and for such a small benefit, the entire goods should not be confiscated. We request the government to kindly look into the newly created Sub-Section (ja) of Section 113 of the Customs Act,” he told reporters.

Saraf also said the Finance Bill has amended the Section 16 of the IGST Act withdrawing the facility of exports on payment of IGST (Integrated Goods and Services Tax) as originally envisaged in the law.

Until now, till the changes are notified in the Act, exporters have the option to ship either under bond/LUT (letter of undertaking) or on payment of IGST.