Circular No. 485/51/99-CX
dated 15/9/1999


Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Revenue,
Central Board of Excise & Customs, New Delhi

Subject : Central Excise – Grant of abatement on closure of stenter of the independent processors covered under section 3A of the Central Excise Act during the period from 16.12.98 to 27.2.99 – Instructions Regarding

I am directed to say that a doubt has arisen whether in cases where stenters were closed during the period from 16.12.98 to 27.2.99, duty should be paid first and abatement granted subsequently or abatement can be granted without insisting for payment of the duty first.

2. The board has examined the matter. Under rule 96ZQ as it existed prior to 28.2.99, the pre-requisites for grant of abatement on closure of stenter were – the stenter should have been completely closed for a continuous period of not less than 7 days and processor should give at least 3 days notice, before closure, to the Jurisdictional Deputy/Assistant Commissioner. On receipt of the notice, the stenter was required to be sealed in such a manner as prescribed by the Commissioner. If these conditions were satisfied, then the processor was eligible for abatement. Where the stenter was closed as on16.12.98 itself, the question of 3 days advance notice for closure did not arise. In that case, the stenter should have have been sealed in the aforesaid manner for the purpose of claiming abatement. Though rule 96ZQ did not contain any specific provision in this regard, there was no specific provision to deny it either.

3. Accordingly, the Board has decided that the Commissioners should `decide first whether the processor was otherwise eligible for abatement or not. In case he is eligible and he had not paid the duty, the abatement should be granted without asking him to pay duty first or where he had paid the duty, he should be reimbursed the amount of duty paid, in terms of the order of abatement issued by the Commissioner.

4. All the pending cases should be expeditiously be disposed of accordingly.

(P K Sinha)
Under Secretary (CX.6)

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