NEW DELHI: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC), headed by Congress MP K V Thomas, has recommended urgent revamping of six economic intelligence agencies mandated with the task of securing country’s economic and revenue interest.
The PAC, in its report, said that though these agencies had been able to detect some of the economic frauds, their overall performance in tackling such frauds is not enough.
The department of revenue have six agencies- Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Central Economic Intelligence Bureau (CEIB), Enforcement Directorate, Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU-Ind), Directorate General of Central Excise Intelligence (DGCEI) and Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI).
The PAC, in its report on ‘Duty Drawback Scheme’, stated that total incidence of duty drawback abuse alone during 2012-13 was `20,061 crore.
The ministry admitted that 39 cases of fraudulent claim of duty drawback were detected by the DRI in 2012-13, but many other such cases were going undetected. “Moreover, since 2010-11 (till November 2013), as many as 22 customs officials of the ranks of Assistant Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner and Joint Commissioner were proceeded against for failure to maintain absolute integrity in connection with cases related to duty drawback which indicates possible nexus between the customs officials and the exporters,” PAC report said adding that this calls for urgent revamping of the six economic intelligence agencies.
The PAC also pointed out overlapping of their functions saying it is affecting the overall performance of these agencies.
The panel recommended that earnest effort should be made to examine this aspect and demarcation of powers and responsibilities among these six entities be revisited so as to avoid overlapping of their functioning and ensure harmonious functioning with optimum synergy.
The PAC, while examining the duty drawback scheme, has found that the rules which lay down parameters for identification of goods in case of re-exports are not only inadequate, but also beset with discrepancies. The committee recommended that a suitable mechanism be put in place to prevent negative discretion of the customs officials concerned so as to help ensure identification of re-exported goods.