Circular No. 953/14/2011
File No. 282/5/2008-CX.9(pt.)
Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Revenue
Central Board of Excise & Customs
New Delhi, the 12th September, 2011
All Chief Commissioners of Central Excise & Service Tax,
All Chief Commissioners of Central Excise & Customs,
All Chief Commissioners of Customs,
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Sub: Regional Advisory Committee for organized sector and small scale industries -Meetings to be chaired by Chief Commissioners-reg.
I am directed to invite your attention to the instructions contained in the Board’s letter F.No. 282/10/93-CX.9, dated 21.12.93, wherein, in supersession of earlier instructions, guidelines were issued for constitution of Regional Advisory Committee (RAC) for organized sector in each of the Central Excise Collectorate (since re-christened as Commissionerate). Attention is also invited to the Board’s instructions on the constitution of a separate RAC for small scale industries, issued vide letter F.No.282/34/73-CX-9, dated 22.12.75. It may be recalled that in terms of existing guidelines, there can be 12 members in the RAC for organized sector and it is open for the Commissioner to co-opt not more than 3 members for a specified period or for any particular meeting. Similarly, in terms of the existing instructions, the RAC for small scale industries shall consist of not more than 8 members and not more than 2 members can be co-opted for a specific period or for any particular meeting. The RAC meetings, which are held once in three months for organized sector and once in six months for small scale industries are presently being chaired by the Commissioner and the functions of the RAC are purely advisory in nature intended to resolve procedural difficulties of general nature. The Committees, which were earlier constituted with the approval of the Board, are now being constituted by the Chief Commissioner of the Zone and the earlier requirement of seeking post-facto approval of the Board for the re-constituted RAC has also been dispensed with vide Board’s letter F.No. 282/5/2008-CX.9, dated 24.9.2008.
2. The subject of upgrading the level of RAC has been under consideration of the Board for past some time. The Board is of the view that to facilitate greater participation of the representatives of the trade and industry and also to raise the quality of deliberations in the forum, the RAC should be constituted at the zonal level and the Chief Commissioner should preside over the RAC meetings. Constitution of the RAC at the Zonal level will also ensure uniformity of action within the Zone and expeditious implementation of the decisions taken in such meetings.
3. In view of above, it has been decided by the Board that:-
(a) A single RAC may be constituted/for both the organized sector as well as small scale industry by the Zonal Chief Commissioner for the entire zone and not for individual Commissionerates under his jurisdiction.
(b) The number of members in the RAC is raised from 12 to 16 so that all the registered Trade Associations, Chambers within the zone are adequately represented. Representatives of the State Government, Manufacturers, SSI, Exporters’ Association, PSU etc . may also be included in the RAC.
(c) The Chief Commissioner is also empowered to co-opt three members from the industry or assessee group important from the zonal point of view for a specific period or for a particular meeting.
(d) The RAC meetings are to be convened on a quarterly basis under the Chairmanship of the Zonal Chief Commissioner.
(e) In respect of the Zones covering Commissionerates in different cities, the Chief Commissioner may, in his discretion, hold the RAC meetings at different Commissionerate Headquarters, if so felt necessary.
4. The existing guidelines stand superseded to the extent above.
5. It is requested that necessary action to re-constitute the RACs for the zones may kindly be taken immediately.
6. Kindly acknowledge the receipt.
Under Secretary to the Govt. of India