New Delhi, Feb 13 (IANS) The Department of Revenue Intelligence has unearthed a major scam involving misuse of South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) provisions by certain firms.
According to highly-placed sources, few firms have been caught importing Canola oil of Canadian origin by wrongfully declaring it as Rapeseed oil from Bangladesh.
This scam lead to evasion of around Rs 25 crore in customs duty, as the import of Canola oil of Canadian origin attracts a customs duty of about 35 per cent, whereas full exemption of customs duty is given to products of Bangladeshi origin under SAFTA.
Sources said that the DRI gather intelligence which indicated that certain firms were importing crude Canola oil of Canadian origin by wrongfully declaring it as crude rapeseed or mustard or rice bran oil of Bangladeshi origin through the Ghojadanga Land Customs Station (LCS) at the Indo-Bangladesh border in West Bengal.
In the past two months around 15,000 MTS of ostensible crude rapeseed oil was suddenly imported through Ghojadanga LCS from Bangladesh availing duty exemption under SAFTA.
This sudden spurt of import from Bangladesh under SAFTA raised suspicion with regard to the description of the goods and their actual identity, sources said.
Consequently, investigations were initiated by DRI against certain importers through searches conducted on February 8 and the scam unearthed.