Decided on April 28,2010

State of West Bengal and Others Respondents


DIPAK CHAKRABORTI, J. - (1.)IN this application filed under section 8 of the West Bengal Taxation Tribunal Act, 1987, the applicant, Godrej Industries Limited, an incorporated company having its principal place of business in West Bengal at "Godrej Bhawaan", Block -GN, Sector -V, Salt Lake City, Kolkata 700 091, has raised a question as to the appropriate rate of tax on sale or purchase of glycerine under the West Bengal Value Added Tax Act, 2003 (in short, "the VAT Act"). It is contended by the applicant that the item "glycerine" is covered by entry 2 of Part III of Schedule C to the VAT Act and the appropriate rate of tax on the item is four percent. The said entry covers "glycerine, crude, glycerine waters and glycerol lyes". Such claim is contested by the respondents and their stand is "glycerine is not covered by the said entry and being an unspecified item/sale/purchase of glycerine attracts tax at 12.5 percent.
(2.)The dispute initially arose from a report drawn up by the Assistant Sales Tax Officer, Central Section (in short, "the ASTO/CS") who visited the applicant's place of business on May 26, 2008. Pursuant to the said visit, ASTO/CS issued a notice to the applicant under section 66 of the VAT Act directing the applicant to produce item -wise sales statement with Excise Tariff Codes, sale price and amount of VAT or CST, as applicable, from 2005 -06 to the date of visit. The applicant was also directed to produce commercial and excise invoice copies relating to those sales transactions. On examination of the records produced by the applicant, the respondents came to the conclusion that the item "glycerine" was taxable at 12.5 percent as an unspecified item falling under Schedule CA. The applicant was accordingly directed to pay tax on sale of glycerine at 12.5 percent.
(3.)IN circular circulated under memo No. 864 (125 CT/PRO) dated September 16, 2008, the Commissioner of Sales Tax opined that glycerol or glycerine CP was all along within Schedule CA to the VAT Act when the said Act came into force with effect from April 1, 2005 and there has been no change in the position and the appropriate rate of tax was 12.5 percent. He confirmed the stand taken by the Central Section of the Commercial Taxes Directorate.

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