In order to ease the liquidity crisis faced by exporters in this region the Vizag Customs Department has processed duty drawbacks claims of over Rs 500 crores to exporters to help them ease their cash flow situation amid the pandemic.
‘For the period April-Dec’20 drawback claims worth Rs. 582 crores has been reimbursed to exporters. This is against the Rs 458 crores that was given during the same period last fiscal’ stated the customs commissioner Dr DK Srinivas speaking to Vizag Industrial Scan. This marks an increase of 27% compared to the 2020 fiscal. The Customs Department has been driving ahead with its digital mandate and among other digital initiatives has been seamlessly holding e-hearings and appeals.
‘All my department’s hearings are being done online and my team has already carried out about 100 e-hearings since August’20’ informed the Customs Commissioner.
As with many sectors the COVID-19 pandemic has had a detrimental effect on the revenues of the Vizag Customs Department.
The customs department of the Vizag zone which was growing from strength to strength in terms of revenues before the pandemic hit saw its revenues plummet by over 50% in the ongoing fiscal.
‘The first quarter of this fiscal was a total wipe out for us’ said Customs commissioner Dr DK Srinivas.
“Duty drawback claims worth Rs. 582 crores have been reimbursed to exporters for the period April-Dec’2020. This is a 27% increase compared to the same period last fiscal.”
— Vizag customs commissioner,
Dr DK Srinivas.
The Vizag customs department had collected revenues of Rs 12000 crores during the April-Jan’20 fiscal. This number fell to Rs 7700 crores for the same period in the current fiscal thus marking a drop of about 55%.
‘For the initial quarters our revenue fell drastically and it is only in the 3rd quarter that we have begun to see growth slowly come back’ said the customs commissioner.
Commodities such as Styrene, Ammonia nitrate and coal were some of the major commodities that witnessed a sharp decline in import volumes.
With the LG polymers plant being closed down the import of styrene stopped thereby causing a loss of about Rs 130 crores to the Customs Department. Similarly there has been a drop in the import of Ammonia nitrate and coal.
The department however hopes that the current (fourth) quarter should be better than the previous quarters and that growth momentum should be back.