The government would not roll back the excise duty on readymade garments which it had imposed in the Union budget, a senior official said today.

“The readymade garments industry in indisciplined and has been enjoying tax exemption from Independence till now. It is time to discipline the sector and the duty imposed will not be rolled back,” Finance Ministry Revenue Secretary Sunil Mitra said at an interactive session here.

Mr. Mitra said that the intention of the government was not to tax the small manufacturers and accordingly exemption to the SSI had been given to the extent of Rs 8.9 crore.

“The garment industry has been paying VAT and why should it not pay excise?” asked Mr. Mitra.

Regarding compliance, he said that self-certification would be sufficient and accounts given to the VAT inspectors would also apply for excise.

The readymade garments industry had been up in arms ever since provision for a 10 per cent excise duty was made in the budget and demanded its roll-back.