Excise notification halts work at Alang's ship breaking yard

Alang-Sosiya Shipbreakers' Association President Ramesh Mendapara said that Alang remained closed for the day with no cutting or scarping work being carried out in ship breaking yards to protest the latest notification by the CE department.

He said that notification would make work difficult for the ship breakers.

The association which is part of the Ship Recycling Industries Association (India), today submitted a memorandum to the CE commissioner here, requesting the department to reconsider the various clauses in the notification.

According to excise officials, the notification was issued in July where ship breakers were asked to give details of excisable and non-excisable items obtained from the ships they bring for scraping.

This notification was issued after CE's intelligence wing had found large scale duty evasion by the ship breakers who used to inflate the quantity of non-excisable items.

The ship breakers had then contended that since they were breaking more than one ship at a time, it would not be possible for them to prepare separate inventories for each ship.

This concern of the ship breakers was examined by the Director General of Central Excise Intelligence (DGCEI), where it was noticed that except for a few ship breaking units, most of them were ready to comply with the notification, CE department officials said.

The department had also found that while negotiating the value of ships and computing their gains, the ship breakers would show data regarding non-ferrous metals, cabins, woods and other non-excisable material which they had obtained in their previous dealing of ships of similar characteristics, thereby inflating the quantity of non-excisable material from the ship, they alleged.

In view of the findings by the DGCEI, the notification was enforced with effect from July 26. However, excise officials said that the ship breakers were not complying with all the requirements of the notification.

The ship breakers today submitted a memorandum to the Central Excise Commissioner pointing out their reservations about certain requirements in the notification.

The department would examine the memorandum given by the ship breakers before taking final decision on notification, a senior official said.

Meanwhile, ship breakers said that it was a symbolic protest today and they would resume work at Alang shipyard tomorrow. 

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