Case Briefs

Customs, Excise & Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT): Anil Choudhary (Judicial Member) allowed an appeal which was filed on the ground that in the facts and circumstances and the documents produced, there could not be any doubt about export of finished goods which were lying in stock on the date of debonding.

The counsel submitted that appellant had submitted complete documents for verification namely – copy of ER-I, copy of shipping bill, copy of export promotion invoice, copy of bill of lading. Further, the goods were exported soon after debonding and admittedly duty have been paid on such goods at the time of debonding.

The Tribunal found that the appellant had exported 448 units of handicraft on 30-07-2015, within a week after the date of debonding being 27-07-2015 when only 153 units were lying in stock. Thus, the refund claim have been rejected on presumptions and assumptions that such 153 units may not have been included in the exported units as there has been further production of 448 units on 28 and 29-07-2015. Such presumption was drawn without any adverse finding or any adverse material on record. It was held that the appellant had exported 153 units lying in stock on the date of debonding. Accordingly, the impugned order was set aside. It was further held that appellant was entitled to refund of the duty of Rs.7,22,290/- relying on the Division Bench of this Tribunal in Parle Agro (P) Ltd. v. Commissioner –CGST-2021-TIOL-306-CESTAT-All. It cannot be conclusively proved that they have exported the goods which were lying in stock, at the time of debonding.[Sun Art Exporter v. Commr. Of CGST, Excise Appeal No. 54025 of 2018-SM, decided on 01-07-2021]


Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: In the case relating to confiscation of a large quantity of yellow peas imported from China, the 3-judge bench of AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari* and Krishna Murai, JJ has held that the goods in question are to be held liable to absolute confiscation but with a relaxation of allowing reexport, on payment of the necessary redemption fine and subject to the importer discharging other statutory obligations. 

Noticing that the personal interests of the importers who made improper imports are pitted against the interests of national economy and more particularly, the interests of farmers, the Court said, 

“When personal business interests of importers clash with public interest, the former has to, obviously, give way to the latter.” 

Notifications at the core of the Controversy

In March, 2019, the Central Government, in exercise of its power under Section 3 of the Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) Act, 1992 (FTDR Act) read with paragraphs 1.02 and 2.01 of the Foreign Trade Policy 2015-2020, amended the import policy conditions relating to various items of Chapter 7 of the Indian Trade Classifications (Harmonized System) 2017, Schedule I by way of S.O. Nos. 1478(E), 1479(E), 1480(E) and 1481(E) dated 29.03.2019. These were followed by the trade notice dated 16.04.2019 by the DGFT.

These notifications were earlier challenged were challenged for being in the nature of ‘quantitative restrictions’ under Section 9A of the FTDR Act, which could be only imposed by the Central Government after conducting such enquiry, as is deemed fit, and on being satisfied that the “goods are imported into India in such quantities and under such conditions as to cause or threatens to cause serious injury to domestic industry.”

However, the Supreme Court, in Union of India v. Agricas LLP, 2020 SCC OnLine SC 67, held them valid as they were issued in accordance with the power conferred in the Central Government in terms of sub-section (2) to Section 3 of the FTDR Act. It was also held that the powers of the Central Government by an order imposing restriction on imports under sub-section (2) to Section 3 is not entirely curtailed by Section 9A of the FTDR Act.

Read our detailed report on the Agricus verdict here

9A of FTDR Act does not negate Central Govt’s power to impose restrictions on imports under Section 3(2): SC

Why do the goods in question fall under the ‘prohibited goods’ category?

Sub-section (3) of Section 3 of the FTDR Act applies to the goods in question and, for having been imported under the cover of the interim orders but, contrary to the notifications and the trade notice issued 92 under the FTDR Act and without the requisite licence, these goods shall be deemed to be prohibited goods under Section 11 of the Customs Act; and all the provisions of the Customs Act shall have effect over these goods and their import accordingly.

Further, only the particular restricted quantity of the commodities covered by the said notifications could have been imported and that too, under a licence. Therefore, any import within the cap (like that of 1.5 lakh MTs) under a licence is the import of restricted goods but, every import of goods in excess of the cap so provided by the notifications, is not that of restricted goods but is clearly an import of prohibited goods.

Hence, the goods in question, having been imported in contravention of the notifications dated 29.03.2019 and trade notice dated 16.04.2019; and being of import beyond the permissible quantity and without licence, are ‘prohibited goods’ for the purpose of the Customs Act.

Why are the goods in question liable to absolute confiscation?

The true scope of Section 125 of the Customs Act, 1962 comes into picture to decide this question. The latter part of Section 125 of the Customs Act obligates the release of confiscated goods (i.e., other than prohibited goods) against redemption fine but, the earlier part of this provision makes no such compulsion as regards the prohibited goods; and it is left to the discretion of the Adjudicating Authority that it may give an option for payment of fine in lieu of confiscation. It is innate in this provision that if the Adjudicating Authority does not choose to give such an option, the result would be of absolute confiscation.

In the case at hand, the Adjudicating Authority had given such an option of payment of fine in lieu of confiscation with imposition of penalty whereas the Appellate Authority has found faults in such exercise of discretion and has ordered absolute confiscation with enhancement of the amount of penalty.

However, an authority acting under the Customs Act, when exercising discretion conferred by Section 125 thereof, has to ensure that such exercise is in furtherance of accomplishment of the purpose underlying conferment of such power. The purpose behind leaving such discretion with the Adjudicating Authority in relation to prohibited goods is, obviously, to ensure that all the pros and cons shall be weighed before taking a final decision for release or absolute confiscation of goods.

“It is true that, ordinarily, when a statutory authority is invested with discretion, the same deserves to be left for exercise by that authority but the significant factors in the present case are that the Adjudicating Authority had exercised the discretion in a particular manner without regard to the other alternative available; and the Appellate Authority has found such exercise of discretion by the Adjudicating Authority wholly unjustified.”

In the present case, it was evident that the Adjudicating Authority’s orders were not passed in a proper exercise of discretion. The Adjudicating Authority did not even pause to consider if the other alternative of absolute confiscation was available to it in its discretion as per the first part of Section 125(1) of the Customs Act and proceeded as if it has to give the option of payment of fine in lieu of confiscation.

“Such exercise of discretion by the Adjudicating Authority was more of assumptive and ritualistic nature rather than of a conscious as also cautious adherence to the applicable principles. The Appellate Authority, on the other hand, has stated various reasons as to why the option of absolute confiscation was the only proper exercise of discretion in the present matter.”

Importer’s personal interest versus National Interest

Clearly, in the present case, the personal interests of the importers who made improper imports were pitted against the interests of national economy and more particularly, the interests of farmers. Hence, this factor alone was sufficient to find the direction in which discretion ought to be exercised in these matters.

Hence, the discretion in the cases of present nature, involving far-reaching impact on national economy, cannot be exercised only with reference to the hardship suggested by the importers, who had made such improper imports only for personal gains.

“The imports in question suffer from the vices of breach of law as also lack of bona fide and the only proper exercise of discretion would be of absolute confiscation and ensuring that these tainted goods do not enter Indian markets. Imposition of penalty on such importers; and rather heavier penalty on those who have been able to get some part of goods released is, obviously, warranted.”

The Court, hence, said that

Directions

  • The subject goods are held liable to absolute confiscation but, in continuity with the order dated 18.03.2021 in these appeals, it is provided that if the importer concerned opts for re-export, within another period of two weeks from today, such a prayer for reexport may be granted by the authorities after recovery of the necessary redemption fine and subject to the importer discharging other statutory obligations. If no such option is exercised within two weeks from the date of the order, the goods shall stand confiscated absolutely.
  • The respondent-importers shall pay costs of this litigation to the appellants, quantified at Rs. 2,00,000/- (Rupees two lakhs) each.

“The respondent-importers being responsible for the improper imports as also for the present litigation, apart from other consequences, also deserve to be saddled with heavier costs.”

[Union of India v. Raj Grow Impex LLP,  2021 SCC OnLine SC 429, decided on 17.06.2021]


*Judgment by: Justice Dinesh Maheshwari 

Know Thy Judge | Justice Dinesh Maheshwari

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Bombay High Court: The Division Bench of Ujjal Bhuyan and Abhay Ahuja, JJ., gave a splitting verdict on the constitutionality of Sections 13(8)(b) and 8(2) of the Integrated Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017.

The petitioner, who was engaged in providing marketing and promotional services to customers located outside India had challenged the validity of Sections 13(8)(b) and 8(2) of the Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST) Act, 2017 contending that these provisions were ultra vires Articles 14, 19, 245, 246, 246A, 269A and 286 of the Constitution and also ultra vires the provisions of the Central Goods and Services Tax  (CGST) Act, 2017, IGST Act, 2017 and Maharashtra Goods and Services Tax (MGST) Act, 2017. The case of the petitioner was that he is a proprietor of a proprietorship firm  Dynatex International having its registered office in Mumbai which was engaged in providing marketing and promotion services to customers located outside India. It was registered as a supplier under the provisions of the CGST Act, 2017.

Grounds for Challenge

  1. The petitioner contended that Section 13(8)(b) of the IGST Act seeks to levy GST on services provided to, used and consumed by recipients located outside India and treating the same as intra-state supply leviable to CGST and MGST which is not only illegal, void, arbitrary and unreasonable but also ultra vires Articles 14, 19(1)(g), 21, 286, 246A, 265, 269A and 300A of the Constitution Section 9 of the CGST Act and the MGST Act.
  2. Though all service providers like the petitioner should be treated in the same manner, service providers like marketing agents, marketing consultants, professional advisers etc. provide similar services. But by virtue of the exception carved out under section 13(8)(b) of the IGST Act, the service rendered by the petitioner despite satisfying all the conditions of section 13(2) read with section 2(6) of the IGST Act would be subject to GST. Therefore, the levy was most unreasonable and arbitrary, thus violative of Article 14.
  3. Article 269A only grants power to the Parliament to frame laws for interstate trade and commerce i.e., for determining inter-state trade or commerce. It does not permit imposition of tax on export of services out of the territory of India by treating the same as a local supply. Hence, section 13(8)(b) of the IGST Act was ultra vires Articles 246A and 269A of the Constitution.
  4. That Article 286(1) provides that no law of a state shall impose or authorize the imposition of a tax on the supply of goods or services or both where such supply takes place outside the state or in the course of import of the goods or services or both into the territory of India or export of goods or services out of the territory of India. Thus no state has authority to levy local tax on export of services. Section 13(8)(b) of the IGST Act had deemed an export to be a local supply. This was violation of Article 286(1).
  5. That section 13(8)(b) of the IGST Act leads to double taxation and more as the same supply would be taxed at the hands of the petitioner and following the destination based principle it would be an import of service from India for the foreign service recipient and would be taxed at his hands in the importing country.

Analysis by the Court

In All India Federation of Tax Practitioners, it was held that service tax is a VAT which in turn is a destination based consumption tax in the sense that it is on commercial activities. It is not a charge on the business but on the consumer and it would logically be leviable only on services provided within the country. Similarly, in Commissioner of Service Tax Vs. SGS India Pvt. Ltd., 2014 (34) STR 554 (Bom.), the High Court had held that if services were rendered to such foreign clients located abroad then such an act can be termed as ‘export of service’ which act does not invite a service tax liability.

Section 13 of the IGST Act deals with place of supply of services where location of supplier or location of recipient is outside India. However, as per the proviso, where the location of the recipient of services is not available in the ordinary course of business, the place of supply shall be the location of the supplier of services. Thus sub-section (2) lays down the general proposition that place of supply of services shall be the location of the recipient of services barring the exceptions carved out in sub-sections (3) to (13). Thus what sub-section (8)(b) says is that in case of supply of services by intermediary the place of supply shall be the location of the supplier of services i.e., the intermediary which is an exception to the general rule as expressed in sub-section (2) of section 13.

The Bench explained, while Article 246A deals with special provision with respect to GST, Article 269A provides for levy and collection of GST in the course of inter-state trade or commerce. Therefore,

“A conjoint reading of the two Articles would show that the Constitution has only empowered Parliament to frame law for levy and collection of GST in the course of inter-state trade or commerce, besides laying down principles for determining place of supply and when such supply of goods or services or both takes place in the course of inter-state trade or commerce. Thus the Constitution did not empower imposition of tax on export of services out of the territory of India by treating the same as a local supply.”

Further, Article 286 lays down restrictions as to imposition of tax on the sale or purchase of goods. Similarly, Article 286(1) imposes an expressed bar that no law of a state shall impose or authorize imposition of a tax on the supply of goods or services or both where such supply takes place in the course of import into or export out of the territory of India. The Bench expressed, though Article 286(2) empowers the Parliament to make laws formulating principles for determining supply of goods or of services or both certainly the same could not be used to foil or thwart the scheme of clause (1).

Noticeably, the petitioner fulfilled the requirement of an intermediary as defined in Section 2(13) of the IGST Act, and all the conditions stipulated in sub-section (6) of Section 2 for a supply of service to be construed as export of service were complied with. The overseas foreign customer of the petitioner fell within the definition of ‘recipient of supply’ in terms of section 2(93) of the CGST Act read with Section 2(14) of the IGST Act. Therefore, it was an ‘export of service’ as defined under section 2(6) of the IGST Act read with Section 13(2) thereof. Hence, Justice Ujjal Bhuyan opined,

“Evidently and there is no dispute that the supply takes place outside the State of Maharashtra and outside India in the course of export. However, what we notice is that section 13(8)(b) of the IGST Act read with section 8(2) of the said Act has created a fiction deeming export of service by an intermediary to be a local supply i.e., an inter-state supply. This is definitely an artificial device created to overcome a constitutional embargo.”

In State of Travancore – Cochin Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court referred to Article 286(1) and held that whatever else may or may not fall within Article 286(1)(b), sales and purchases which themselves occasion the export or the import of the goods, as the case may be, out of or into the territory of India would come within the exemption. Reliance was placed on GVK Industries Ltd., wherein the Supreme Court had held that the Parliament is constitutionally restricted from enacting extra-territorial legislation but such restriction should be made subject to certain exigencies, such as, it should have a real connection to India which should not be illusory or fanciful.

Similarly, in Electronics Corporation of India Limited v. Commissioner of Income Tax, 1989 Supp (2) SCC 642 , it was held that unless a nexus with something in India exists, Parliament would have no competence to make the law. Article 245(1) empowers Parliament to enact law for the whole or any part of the territory of India. The provocation for the law must be found within India itself. Such a law may have extra-territorial operation in order to subserve the object and that object must be related to something in India. It is inconceivable that a law should be made by Parliament in India which has no relationship with anything in India.

Thus, the Bench held that it was apparent that Section 9 of the CGST Act cannot be invoked to levy tax on cross-border transactions i.e., export of services. Likewise from the scheme of the IGST Act, it is evident that the same provides for levy of IGST on inter-state supplies. Import and export of services have been treated as inter-state supplies in terms of Section 7(1) and Section 7(5) of the IGST Act. On the other hand sub-section (2) of Section 8 of the IGST Act provides that where location of the supplier and place of supply of service is in the same state or union territory, the said supply shall be treated as intra-state supply. However, the Bench remarked,

“By artificially creating a deeming provision in the form of Section 13(8)(b) of the IGST Act, where the location of the recipient of service provided by an intermediary is outside India, the place of supply has been treated as the location of the supplier i.e., in India. This runs contrary to the scheme of the CGST Act as well as the IGST Act besides being beyond the charging sections of both the Acts.”

In the light of the above, Ujjal Bhuyan, J., held that Section 13(8)(b) of the IGST Act, 2017 was ultra vires the said Act besides being unconstitutional. However, Abhay Ahuja, J., stated that he was unable to share the opinion of Justice Ujjal Bhuyan and directed to list the matter on 16-06-2021 to express his opinion.[Dharmendra M. Jani v. Union of India, 2021 SCC OnLine Bom 839, decided on 09-06-2021]


Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief


Appearance before the Court by:

Counsel for the Petitioner: Adv. Bharat Raichandani a/w. Adv. Pragya Koolwal Counsel for Union of India: ASG Anil C. Singh a/w. Sr. Adv. Pradeep S. Jetly
Counsel for Respondent 1 to 4: Adv. J. B. Mishra
Counsel for State of Maharashtra: AGP S.G. Gore

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: The Division Bench of Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh, JJ., dealt with a petition which prayed for waiver of import and other duties on Amphotericin B, which is a drug being used for treatment of Mucormycosis (Black Fungus).

Counsel for the respondent informed the Court that Import Duty payable on import of Amphotericin B was 27 % wheareas the counsel for the petitioner informed it to be 70 %. Counsel for the respondent however submitted that there is complete waiver of customs duty on life saving drugs imported for personal use via a notification and on instructions, Amphotericin B would be covered by the said notification.

The Court was of the view that the said drug is required to save lives of the people suffering from the disease which is inflicting thousands of people all over the country, and there is acute shortage of the same in the country, and that the Central Government should seriously consider waiver of complete Customs and other duties & levies on the import of the said drug by all, at least, for the period that the same is in short supply in India and is required to treat the disease, namely Mucormycosis (Black Fungus).

The Court directed that if any import is made by any person of the said medicine, the same may be cleared by accepting a bond (to the effect that in case the duty is payable and not waived, the same shall be paid) from the importer without actual payment of duties till a final decision on the said aspect is taken. The Court will hear the matter on 01-06-2021.

[Laieq Ahmad Siddiqui v. Govt. of NCT of Delhi,  2021 SCC OnLine Del 2986, decided on 27-05-2021]


Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant had put this report together 

For the petitioner: Mr Rohit Sharma

For the respondent: Mr Rahul Mehra, Senior Advocate along with Mr Gautam Narayan, ASC & Mr Satyakam, ASC with Mr Aditya P. Khanna, Ms Dacchita Sahni, Ms Ritika Vohra and Mr Chaitanya Gosain, Advocates for the respondent/ GNCTD.

 Mr Amit Mahajan, Mr Kirtiman Singh & Ms Nidhi Mohan Parashar, CGSCs for the respondent/ UOI.

Mr Ashish Mohan, Advocate for respondent No.3/ SGRH.

Mr Rajshekhar Rao, Senior Advocate (Amicus Curiae) along with Mr Anandh Venkataramani, Ms Mansi Sood, Ms Sonal Sarda and Mr Areeb Amanullah, Advocates.

Mr Krishnan Venugopal, Senior Advocate with Mr Manan Verma, Mr Aditya N Prasad, Mr Kaushik Mishra & Ms Anmol Srivastava, Advocates.

Hot Off The PressNews

On the basis of specific intelligence, under the direction of the Commissioner of Customs (Preventive), Bhubaneswar Shri Debashish Sahu, investigation was initiated and relevant business premises of Exporter and Customs House Agent at various places was searched.

Prima facie evasion of Customs duty to the extent of Rs 8,07,66,314/- (Rupees Eight Crore Seven Lakh Sixty-Six Thousand Three Hundred and Fourteen) only by M/s. B S Minerals, Keonjhar, Odisha-758001 on Iron Ore fines which was to be exported from Paradeep, India to Main Port, China in-vessel “MV MAGNUM FORTUNE” was detected by the Customs officials.

Thereafter, 52051 MT of goods valued at Rs.26,92,21,045/-were seized. Subsequently, the exporter deposited Customs duty to the tune of Rs.8,07,66,314/- (Rupees Eight Crore Seven Lakh Sixty Six Thousand Three Hundred and Fourteen) only and submitted Bank Guarantee of Rs. One Crore to the government exchequer for taking the provisional release of the goods in addition to depositing a Bond of Rs 5.4 Crore with the Customs Authorities.

Further investigation is under progress.

PRESS RELEASE


CBIC

[Press Release dt. 29-12-2020]

Business NewsNews

Khadi has once again come out of its customary veil, marking its presence in the exclusive HS code bracket, issued by the central government on 4th Nov’19 to categorize its products in export.

In a long-awaited move to make the export of Khadi, exclusively categorized from the general league of textile products, the ministry of commerce and industries has allocated separate HS code for this signature fabric of India this week.

Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) Chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena said that this decision of the government will open a new chapter in the field of Khadi export. Earlier, Khadi did not have its exclusive HS code. As a result, all the data regarding the export of this signature fabric used to come as a normal fabric under the textile head. Now, we will be able to keep a constant eye not only on our export figures but it will also help us in planning our export strategies.

HS Stands for Harmonized System and it is a six-digit identification code. It was developed by the WCO (World Customs Organization) and custom officers use HS Code to clear every commodity that enters or crosses any international border.

Khadi and Village Industries products are eco-friendly and natural and are in great demand in the International Markets. Recognizing its potential to generate exports and its eco-friendly importance, the Ministry of Commerce had accorded deemed Export Promotional Council Status (EPCS) to KVIC in 2006, to boost the export of Khadi products. However, in the absence of separate HS code, the export of Khadi products was difficult to categorize and calculate.


Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises

[Press Release dt. 06-11-2019]

[Source: PIB]

[Image Credits: Outlook India]

Legislation UpdatesNotifications

G.S.R. 124(E)—WHEREAS, the Central Government is satisfied that the import duty leviable on all goods originating in or exported from the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, falling under the First Schedule to the Customs Tariff Act, 1975 (51 of 1975) (hereinafter referred to as the Customs Tariff Act), should be increased and that circumstances exist which render it necessary to take immediate action.

Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of Section 8A of the Customs Tariff Act, the Central Government, hereby directs that the First Schedule to the Customs Tariff Act, shall be amended in the following manner, namely:—

In the First Schedule to the Customs Tariff Act, in Section XXI, in Chapter 98, after tariff item 9805 90 00 and the entries relating thereto, the following tariff item and entries shall be inserted, namely:—

(1)

(2) (3) (4)

(5)

“9806 00 00

All goods originating in or exported from the Islamic Republic of Pakistan 200%

-“.

[F. No. 354/40/2019-TRU]

Ministry of Finance

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Kerala High Court:The culprit is finning, and the result is the species thinning, to the extent of disappearing – almost”, said Dama Seshadri Naidu, J., speaking for himself and Antony Dominic, CJ. while dismissing an appeal filed challenging the notification passed by the Central Government vide which the Government imposed ban on export of shark fins. It is noteworthy that internationally too, ‘shark finning’ is a detestable fishing activity, leading to environmental and ecological calamities.

The appellant was a marine produce exporter, dealing exclusively in shark fins. He assailed the notification banning the export of sharks as ultra vires the Government power under relevant statutes. Earlier, too, in 2001, the Union of India banned catching all species of shark in India, treating them as endangered animal under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. However, due to widespread protest, the ban was constricted to only 9 out of 99 shark and ray species. Subsequently, in 2015, the Government exercised its powers under Section 5 of the Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) Act, 1992, and ordered the impugned notification, wherein export of all shark fins, of whatever species, was banned. The appellant sought striking down of the notification as void. The notification was also challenged for violating Article 14 of the Constitution.

After a lengthy discussion on law relating to the subject, the High Court inter alia observed that the said notification was piece of subordinate legislation. Placing reliance on the decision of Supreme Court in Indian Express Newspaper (Bombay) (P) Ltd. v. Union of India, (1985) 1 SCC 641, the High Court observed that a piece of subordinate legislation does not carry the same immunity as enjoyed by a statute passed by competent legislature. Subordinate legislation may be questioned on all grounds as are available against the plenary legislation including ignorance of the parent statute; contravention of some other statute; and unreasonableness in the sense of being manifestly arbitrary. On perusal of the notification and the policy behind it, the Court held that, the ban was introduced to protect the wildlife in general and sharks in particular, which are regarded by the Government as an endangered animal. The re-introduction of the ban after a gap of over 13 years was also plausible as on the high seas it was impossible for the fishermen to identify and differentiate one species of shark from the other. Further, challenge to the notification on ground of violating Article 14 was also dismissed by the Court. True that the notification did not prohibit hunting of shark for domestic consumption, though it bans export of shark fins. However, such distinction seems to be based on an intelligible differentia as shark meat is not a staple food for Indians. To cater the needs of miniscule number of consumers, no danger of wholesale killing of sharks arise. Thus, the Court did not find any infirmity in the impugned notification; the writ appeal was dismissed. [Marine Fins v. Union of India,  2018 SCC OnLine Ker 1950, order dated 29-5-2018]

NewsTreaties/Conventions/International Agreements

The Union Cabinet has approved the renewal of Long Term Agreements (LTAs) for supply of iron ore (lumps and fines) of grade +64% Fe content to Japanese Steel Mills (JSMs) and POSCO, South Korea for another 5 years (i.e. 1.4.2018 up to 31.3.2023) through MMTC Limited.

Benefits: Export of iron ore under the LTAs would help to strengthen India’s bilateral ties with longstanding partner countries, Japan and South Korea secure an export market and result in inflow of foreign exchange. The agreement will enable India to secure international market for its ores and ensure stable economic ecosystem which provides direct and indirect employment in mining, logistics and related sectors.

[Press Release no. 1530134]

Ministry of Commerce & Industry

Business NewsNews

S.O.(E)- In exercise of the powers conferred by Section 3 of the Foreign Trade (Development & Regulation) Act, 1992 (No.22 of 1992) (as amended from time to time) read with paragraph 2.01 of the Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) 2015-2020, the Central Government hereby makes amendments to the Sl. No. 92, Chapter 15 of Schedule 2 of ITC (HS) Classification of Export & Import Items 2018 on Export Policy of edible oils.

2. In supersession of Notification No. 85 dated 17.03.2008, Notification No. 24(RE-2012)/2009-14 dated 19thOctober 2012, Notification No 22(RE-2013)/2009-14 dated 18.06.2013, Notification No 108(RE-2013)/2009-14 dated 06.02.2015, Notification No. 17/2015-20 dated 06.08.2015 and Notification No. 43/2015-20 dated 27.03.2017 relating to 51. No. 92 of Schedule 2 of ITC(HS) Classification of Export & Import Items 2018, the following amendments are made, with immediate effect :

SI. No. Tariff Item HS Code Unit Item Description Amended Policy
92

All ITC(HS) Codes pertaining to the edible oils under Chapter 15 of Schedule 1 (Import Policy) of ITC(HS) Classification of Export & Import Items 2017

Kg.

All varieties of edible oils, except mustard oil

Free

3. Export of mustard oil in branded consumer packs of up to 5 kgs will continue to be permitted with a Minimum Export Price (MEP) of USD 900 per MT.

4. Effect of this Notification: All varieties of edible oils, except mustard oil, have been made ‘free’ for export without any quantitative ceilings, pack size etc., till further orders.

[Notification No. 01/2015-202]

Ministry of Commerce & Industry

Business NewsNews

The government has decided to speed up the input tax refund to exporters. As per Rule 91 of CGST Rules, 2017, 90 % of the refund amount claimed shall be granted on a provisional basis within a period not exceeding 7 days from the date of acknowledgement of the refund claim. Further, as per Section 54(7) of the CGST Act, 2017, the final order for granting refund shall be issued within 60 days from the date of receipt of the complete application. Out of total taxpayers under GST, 64% who were already registered under the previous tax regime have transitioned to GST as on 02-03-2018. However, no specific study has been undertaken on the impact of the said transition. The Minister of State for Finance further has stated that, the processing of the refund claim is being done after the claimant has filed the GST return and the grant of the refund shall be within 60 days from the date of receipt of the complete application.

[Source: Press Information Bureau]

MINISTRY OF FINANCE