SRIRAM & COMPANY Vs. STATE OF ANDHRA PRADESH
SALES TAX TRIBUNAL
Sriram And Company
STATE OF ANDHRA PRADESH
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Manoranjan Virk, Member (A) -
(1.) THESE two appeals have been filed against the revisional orders of the Additional Commissioner (CT)(Legal), Hyderabad for the assessment years 1996 -97 & 1997 -98 respectively by the same appellant. Since a common issue is the subject matter of both the appeals, we are passing a common order. The appellant has stated in his grounds of appeal that the Additional Commissioner ought to have appreciated that the product Deconol manufactured by them is used to derive better yield from tobacco plants by controlling the growth of suckers which originate on the leaf axils of tobacco plant. As the product regulates the production it can only be considered as fertilizer taxable at 3% under Item 23 of the I Schedule. Further, they have stated that the Additional Commissioner (CT) (Legal), grossly erred in assuming that the product is used to stunt the vertical growth of the plant. The stunting of vertical growth is done by removal of terminal bud which is known as topping. After removal of the terminal bud suckers are likely to grow alongside the stem. The Deconol prevents/destroys growth of such suckers to regulate the plant and leaf growth.
(2.) FURTHER , at the time of hearing, the appellant has pointed that the very same Additional Commissioner vide his order dated 7.12.2002 pertaining to assessment year 1996 -97 under the CST Act, 1956 held that the commodity Deconol manufactured by the appellant was to be regarded as a herbicide based on the opinion of Principal of Agriculture College, Aswaraopet. The appellant has further submitted before us a Certificate issued by the Director of Central Tobacco Research Institute, Rajahmundry, dated 6.3.1996 to substantiate its claim that Deconol helps in controlling the suckers on Tobacco Plant. They have also submitted another letter dated 22.7.2000 from Central Tobacco Research Institute, Rajahmundry, written by a Sr. Scientific Officer, addressed to Sri V.V.S. Rama Rao, Managing Director, M/s. Sri Ram Suckericides Pvt. Ltd., Khammam, which defines what suckericides are and talks about the advantages of suckericides and utilization of nutrients and fertilizers after sucker control, as well as the yield and quality differences in manual and chemical sucker control in support of their contentions. It is the contention of the appellant that there was unwarranted revision by the Additional Commissioner of the order of the Appellate Deputy Commissioner who held that Deconol was to be regarded as a chemical fertilizer and taxed accordingly as falling under item 23 of the I Schedule. The appellant has further stated that Deconol concentrate is spread after diluting on the plants chosen just like herbicides and weedicides. They have further pointed out that for the assessment year 1997 -98, the Additional Commissioner has also disallowed deductions on account of evaporation and wastage and development activities conducted at Gujarat. The appellant has pleaded that in the process of manufacturing Deconol, there is some evaporation and wastage and that they have utilized some amount of the product for demonstration activities in the State of Gujarat. As there was no sale of the product so used the same cannot be taxed. They have further stated that the total deduction on account of these two reasons is less than 3% of their turnover and this deduction should be allowed as it is for genuine reasons.
(3.) THE learned State Representative has supported the orders of the Additional Commissioner and stated that the product Deconol is neither a fertilizer nor a herbicide and has been rightly classified by the Additional Commissioner as falling under general goods.;
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