Customs Act clause to criminalise ‘illicit’ publication of data
The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) on Saturday said the proposed clause will only criminalise illicit publication of personalised, transaction-level information by private entities, who compromise data privacy.
There was no prohibition on legally published data, it said.
Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s budget has proposed an amendment to the Customs Act by inserting Section 135AA, through the Finance Bill 2022, implying publication of any information relating to the value, classification and quantity of goods being exported from or imported into India, or the details of the exporter or importer, a punishable offence attracting a jail term of up to six months or a fine of up to ₹50,000, or both.
“The proposed clause will only criminalise the illicit publication of personalised, transaction-level information by private entities, which affects the competitive position of Indian businesses in international trade and compromises their data privacy,” the CBIC said in a response to a tweet by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor.
Tharoor tweeted on the issue saying the move was “incomprehensible”.
“This is incomprehensible. How can a democracy restrict discussion of publicly available data on the country’s trade? The BJP can bulldoze even such preposterous laws through Parliament – but surely the courts will find it unconstitutional,” Tharoor said.
CBIC said this had been done following requests from industry as many websites were selling data containing the name of exporter or importer, description of goods, quantity, value, classification and information which carried commercially sensitive details impacting their trade.
Tax experts backed the move.
“Sensitive commercial data relating to invoice-level transactions of imports and exports was being supplied by a few agencies in an unauthorised manner,” Pratik Jain, partner, Price Waterhouse & Co LLP, said, adding the proposal was probably to counter such trading of data.
(News Source -Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by Times Of Nation staff and is published from a economictimes.indiatimes.com feed.)
Read Also- Latest News | Current Affairs News | Today News | English News | World News Today
TimesofNation.com offer news and information like- English newspaper today | today English news | English news live | times of India | today news in English in India | breaking news in India today | India TV news today & Hindustan times.
You can Read on TimesofNation.com latest news today, breaking news headlines, Top news. Discover national and international news on economy, politics, defence, sports, world news & other relatively current affair’s news.