Obstacles come in our way, they tend to stop us from reaching our goals, try to apply break to our journey, keep hurling oddities at us from quite unexpected times and avenues, many of them take us by surprise and some leave us in utter shock. In my 3 decades long professional career, I have come across so many challenges. Some of them really tried to bring about great disarray into my life, some took me by shock – the ones that were baseless. Like for example a decade ago, there was a news item in one of the dailies – Exporter’s fraud sends DRI on a nationwide hunt.
There was a time, every exporter is looked down as a perpetrator of big scams and here is one unproven allegation, a perpetrator of export scam, one Mr. Shyam Tulsiram Bihani who came under the radar of Director of Revenue Intelligence (DRI). Charges were leveled against him that he has diverted fabric and other goods imported duty-free under the Duty Exemption Entitlement Scheme (DEEC) the Duty Free Replenishment Scheme (DFRC) meant for re-exporting into local market. A nationwide probe has been launched to find out the number of fictitious licences acquired by Bihani and to ascertain the total amount of customs duty evasion. Admittedly a conservative estimate expected to cross Rs.100 Crore.
A case has been registered and all the following blah blahs have happened. The worst part of that allegation is that DFRCs obtained has clearances to various 100 per cent export oriented units (EOUs). By utilizing two of his 13 advance licences he has acquired about 5 consignments of polyester fabrics duty and sold it to the beneficiaries according to the DRI investigation to a couple of merchants and one of them, unfortunately happened to be me “Kamal Loungani”. That was a decade old charge and all I did was business and as a business man I procured the raw material from a wholesale fabric merchant and I didn’t have thought even for a moment about the import nitty-gritty and customs evasion involved in the consignment. All I cared about was the quality of the fabric.