New Delhi: The Directorate of Revenue
Intelligence has launched a nation-wide probe into the alleged
violation of aircraft import duty, to the tune of crores of
rupees, by aviation training institutes.
According to DRI sources, institutes -- primarily located
in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore -- have been found to have
contravened the customs laws that allowed them tax exemption
to import aircraft for a specific purpose to train pilots.
According to an official data, there are about 40 such
institutes in the country which train pilots and have applied
for tax exemption citing this reason.
However, some of these institutes were found to be flying
tourist and other non-schedule sorties, thereby violating the
provisions of the Customs Act, the sources said.
"The probe is in initial stages and all the institutes
will be verified. But it is expected that the violation of the
Customs laws could have been done by about 50 per cent of the
institutes. The contraventions are many and they are under
probe," a senior Revenue department officer said.
Some of the institutes under scanner are also located in
cities like Lucknow and Patna among others and the DRI is also
looking at the ownership and business associates of these
The DRI will also write to the Directorate General of
Civil Aviation (DGCA) to ascertain the authorisation of these
institutes, sources said.
The DRI is an intelligence gathering and enforcement wing
under the Finance Ministry.