Visakhapatnam: Lockdown and economic slump notwithstanding, Visakhapatnam Customs & Central Tax Zone collected Rs 64,827.42 crores revenue in 2020-21, an increase of 29.52 percent.

The total revenue combining GST, Central Excise, and Customs was also aided by the use of artificial intelligence and blockchain technologies.

Naresh Penumaka, Principal Chief Commissioner of Customs & Central Tax, Visakhapatnam Zone (Andhra Pradesh) said the buoyancy in revenue collections was mainly on account of Central Excise duties which stood at Rs.21,619.24 Crores in 2020-21 an increase of over 19.58% than the previous year. Customs collections stood at Rs.28,209.67 Crores for the year 2020-21, which is an increase of 13.33%.

However, GST revenue collection in the Zone was Rs. 14,998.51 Crores with a marginal drop of 2.08% over the previous year.

94% GST refund claims cleared

In order to provide liquidity to the taxpayers and exporters, special refund drives were launched at regular intervals to clear the pending refund/drawback claims.

On the GST front, out of a total of 2,569 refund claims filed involving an amount of Rs.2, 142.55 Crores, the Zone has processed 2,421 claims (94.2 1%) involving amounts of Rs. 1,851.69 Cores (86.42%). On the customs side, a total of Rs. 1127.24 Crores were sanctioned towards export-related IGST refund and Rs.999. 10 crores were sanctioned towards Drawback during the year 2020-21.

AI, Block-chain tech aids revenue

The Vizag Zone detected an amount of Rs. 1929.11 Crores through the use of data analyzed using artificial intelligence with Block-chain technology.

Specialized tools developed by GSTN Directorate of Systems along with data forwarded by Director General of Analytics and Risk Management (DGARM) were used to effect the recoveries.

The Zone is closely monitoring the E-invoice data and correlating the same with the GST Returns filed.

Fake invoices worth Rs 65 crores detected

The Zone registered 127 cases involving an amount of Rs. 2 13. 34 crores and recovered an amount of Rs.60 crores. In a special drive against persons indulging in fake invoice cases under the GST regime, a total of 36 cases were registered involving an amount of Rs.65.38 Crores and one person was arrested.

The Zone is keeping a close watch on all cases of alleged evasion reported by the public on the Central Public Grievance Reporting and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS).

Towards revenue augmentation, arrears of revenue to the extent of Rs. 142.38 Crores were recovered during the year 2020-2 1.

Customs deal L.G. Polymers factory mishap

In a quick protective action, Customs officials ensured that the remaining imported Styrene Monomer was re-exported so as to ensure safety of life and property.

Reacting to the blast due to Ammonium Nitrate in a Foreign Country, Customs clarified that no Ammonium Nitrate is stored at any of the Ports and that all imported material is in bagged condition.

Ports were operational despite virus claimed officers

Visakhapatnam Customs and CGST Zone has actively facilitated Importers/ Exporters, Trade and Business in the "Ease of Doing Business".

Even at the peak of the COVID- 19 pandemic, despite losing Officers to the dreaded virus, and many being adversely affected by the infection, yet it was ensured that all the Customs formations at Visakhapatnam, Kakinada and Krishnapatnam Ports were operational 24 x 7. The Customs Officers strenuously worked to facilitate a total of 565 "Vande Bharat" flights and helped to bring back 64,606 Indians from various countries during the year.

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