Case Law Details

Case Name : In re Roorkee Cold Storage (P) Ltd (GST AAR Uttarakhand)
Appeal Number : Advance Ruling 04/2019-20
Date of Judgement/Order : 08/07/2020
Related Assessment Year :

In re Roorkee Cold Storage (P) Ltd (GST AAR Uttarakhand)

On perusal of legal provisions (supra), we find that loading, unloading, packing, storage or warehousing of agricultural produce is exempted from GST. We also find that Agricultural produce in the notifications has been defined to mean “any produce out of cultivation of plants and rearing of all life forms of animals, except the rearing of horses, for food, fibre, fuel, raw material or other similar products, on which either no further processing is done or such processing is done as is usually done by a cultivator or producer which does not alter its essential characteristics but makes it marketable for primary market”. In light of the aforesaid definition any product in order to become an agricultural produce have the following criteria :-

(i) Any produce out of cultivation of plants and rearing of all life forms of animals;

(ii) Such produce does not require any further processing and if any processing shall be carried by producer or cultivator then said processing does not alter the essential characteristics of such produce;

(iii) the requirement of such initial processing is essential to make the produce marketable at the primary stage of marketing.

We further find that in terms of circular dated 15.11.2017, the storage/warehousing of goods viz pulses, jaggery, etc were taxable but with the introduction of entry 24B in the Exemption Notification No. 12/2017-Central Tax (Rate) dated 28.06.2017 (as amended from time to time), storage/warehousing of pulses, jiggery, fruits, nuts & vegetables are exempted from GST w.e.f 01.10.2019.

From the record, we find that the applicant is engaged in rendering services by way of providing storage/warehousing facilities to variety of goods and in terms of legal provisions (supra), the applicability of GST in respect of said goods is as under:

S. No. Description of goods Taxable/Exempted Remark Applicable w.e.f
1 Curd Taxable Not agriculture produce 01.07.2017
2 Desi Ghee Taxable Not agriculture produce 01.07.2017
3 Dried Makhana Taxable Not agriculture produce 01.07.2017
4 Amla Pishti Taxable Not agriculture produce 01.07.2017
5 Indian Plum (fruit) Exempted In terms of Notification No. 12/2017-Central Tax (Rate) dated 28.06.2017 01.10.2019
6 Pulses Exempted In terms of Notification No. 12/2017-Central Tax (Rate) dated 28.06.2017 01.10.2019
7 Aaam Papad Taxable Not agriculture produce 01.07.2017
8 Coconuts (fresh/dried) (fruit/nut) Exempted In terms of Notification No. 12/2017-Central Tax (Rate) dated 28.06.2017 01.10.2019
9 Dates, figs, pine apples, avocados, guavas, mangoes (fruits) Exempted In terms of Notification No. 12/2017-Central Tax (Rate) dated 28.06.2017 01.10.2019
10 Rice (branded/unbranded) Exempted In terms of Notification No. 12/2017-Central Tax (Rate) dated 28.06.2017 01.07.2017
11 Jaggery (all types) Exempted In terms of Notification No. 12/2017-Central Tax (Rate) dated 28.06.2017 01.10.2019

The rate of GST for storage/warehouse of goods is 18% [9% CGST + 9% SGST].

FULL TEXT OF THE ORDER OF AUTHORITY FOR ADVANCE RULING, UTTARAKHAND

Note Under Section. 100(1) of the Uttarakhand Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017. an appeal against this ruling lies before the appellate authority for advance ruling constituted under section- 99 of the Uttarakhand Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017, within a period of 30 days from the date of service of this order.

AUTHORITY FOR ADVANCE RULING

GOODS & SERVICE TAX UTTRAKHAND

RULING

1. This is an application under Sub-Section (1) of Section 97 of the CGST/SGST Act, 2017 (herein after referred to as Act) and the rules made thereunder filed by M/s. Roorkee Cold Storage (P) Ltd, Village-Sunehra, Kashipuri, Roorkee, Uttarakhand (here in after referred to as ‘the applicant’) is registered with the GSTN having Registration No. 05AABCR1223Q1ZE and seeking advance ruling on the following question:-

a. Whether the tax is applicable on the hire charges of storage of agriculture produces;

b. Whether the tax is applicable on storage on exempted goods under the GST Act;

c. Whether the tax is applicable on the same rate or different rates.

2. Advance Ruling under GST means a decision provided by the authority or the appellate authority to an applicant on matters or on questions specified in sub section (2) of section 97 or sub section (1) of section 100 in relation to the supply of goods or services or both being undertaken or proposed to be undertaken by the applicant.

3. As per the said subsection (2) of Section 97 of the Act advance ruling can be sought by an applicant in respect of:-

(a) Classification of any goods or services or both

(b) Applicability of a notification issued under the provisions of this Act,

(c) Determination of time and value of supply of goods or services or both,

(d) Admissibility of input tax credit of tax paid or deemed to have been paid

(e) Determination of the liability to pay tax on any goods or services or both

(f) Whether the applicant is required to be registered

(g) Whether any particular thing done by the applicant with respect to any goods or services or both amounts to or results in a supply of goods or services or both within the meaning of that term

Since applicant has sought advance ruling on determination of tax liability, therefore, in terms of said Section 97(2){e) of the Act, the application filed by the applicant was admitted. Accordingly hearing was fixed on 15.06.2020 which was attended by the Shri S P Bathla, Advocate on behalf of the applicant. During the course of hearing Ms Preeti Manral (DC) .concerned officer of SGST-Uttarakhand was also present.

5. On perusal of record, we find that the applicant is engaged in rendering services for storage of goods in their cold storage and sought ruling for clarification of tax liability on the charges of services on storage of agriculture produce and exempted goods under GST Act.

6. In the present case we are not deciding any wider question but restricting our conclusion to the facts and circumstances which were filed for our consideration in the application. In this context relevant legal provisions are reproduced for ready reference:

GST not applicable on hire charges for storage of agriculture produce

Notification No. 11/2017-Central Tax (Rate) 28th June, 2017

G.S.R…(E).- In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 9, subsection (1) of section 11, sub-section (5) of section 15 and sub-section (1) of section 16 of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 (12 of 2017), the Central Government, on the recommendations of the Council, and on being satisfied that it is necessary in the public interest so to do, hereby notifies that the central tax, on the intra-State supply of services of description as specified in column (3) of the Table below, falling under Chapter, Section or Heading of scheme of classification of services as specified in column (2), shall be levied at the rate as specified in the corresponding entry in column (4), subject to the conditions as specified in the corresponding entry in column (5) of the said Table:-

S.No Chapter, Section or Heading Description of Service Rate (per cent.) Condition
1 2 3 4 5
24 Heading 9986 (i) Support services to agriculture, forestry, fishing, animal husbandry.

Explanation. – “Support services to agriculture, forestry, fishing, animal husbandry” mean –

(i) Services relating to cultivation of plants and rearing of all life forms of animals, except the rearing of horses, for food, fibre, fuel, raw material or other similar products or agricultural produce by way of,-

(a) agricultural operations directly related to production of any agricultural produce including cultivation, harvesting, threshing, plant protection or testing;

(b) supply of farm labour;

(c) processes carried out at an agricultural farm including tending, pruning, cutting, harvesting, drying, cleaning, trimming, sun drying, fumigating, curing, sorting, grading, cooling or bulk packaging and such like operations which do not alter the essential characteristics of agricultural produce but make it only marketable for the primary market;
(d) renting or leasing of agro machinery or vacant land with or without a structure incidental to its use;

(e) loading, unloading, packing, storage or warehousing of agricultural produce;

(f) agricultural extension services;

(g) services by any Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee or Board or services provided by a commission agent for sale or purchase of agricultural produce.

(ii) Services by way of pre-conditioning, pre-cooling, ripening, waxing, retail packing, labelling of fruits and vegetables which do not change or alter the essential characteristics of the said fruits or vegetables.

(iii) Carrying out an intermediate production process as job work in relation to cultivation of plants and rearing of all life forms of animals, except the rearing of horses, for food, fibre, fuel, raw material or other similar products or agricultural produce

Nil

B. Clause 4(vii) of Notification No. 11/2017-Central Tax (Rate) 28th June, 2017 :

“agricultural produce” means any produce out of cultivation of plants and rearing of all life forms of animals, except the rearing of horses, for food, fibre, fuel, raw material or other similar products, on which either no further processing is done or such processing is done as is usually done by a cultivator or producer which does not alter its essential characteristics hut makes it marketable for primary market.

C. Notification No. 12/2017-Central Tax (Rate) 28th June, 2017

G.S.R…(E).- In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 11 of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 (12 of 2017), the Central Government, on being satisfied that it is necessary in the public interest so to do, on the recommendations of the Council, hereby exempts the intra-State supply of services of description as specified in column (3) of the Table below from so much of the central tax leviable thereon under sub-section (1) of section 9 of the said Act, as is in excess of the said tax calculated at the rate as specified in the corresponding entry in column (4) of the said Table, unless specified otherwise, subject to the relevant conditions as specified in the corresponding entry in column (5) of the said Table, namely:-

S. No. Chapter, Section, Heading, Group or Service Code (Tariff) Description of Service Rate (per cent.) Condition
1 2 3 4 5
24 Heading 9967 or Heading 9985 Services by way of loading, unloading, packing, storage or warehousing of rice. Nil Nil
54 Heading 9986 Services relating to cultivation of plants and rearing of all life forms of animals, except the rearing of horses, for food, fibre, fuel, raw material or other similar products or agricultural produce by way of,-

(a)—————–

(b) —————–

(c) —————

(d) —————-

(e) loading, unloading, packing, storage or warehousing of agricultural produce

(f) —————–

(g) ————————

Nil Nil

The said notification was further amended vide Notification No. 20/2019-Central Tax (Rate) dated 30.09.2019 made applicable w.e.f 01.10.2019 vide which entry 2413 was inserted as under:

S. No. Chapter, Section, Heading, Group or Service Code (Tariff) Description of Service Rate (per cent.) Condition
1 2 3 4 5
24B Heading 9967 or Heading 9985 Services by way of storage or warehousing of cereals, pulses, fruits, nuts and vegetables, spices, copra, sugarcane, jaggery, raw vegetable fibres such as cotton, flax, jute etc., indigo, unmanufactured tobacco, betel leaves, tendu leaves, coffee and tea Nil Nil

D. Clause 2(d) of Notification No. 12/2017-Central Tax (Rate) 28th June, 2017

“agricultural produce” means any produce out of cultivation of plants and rearing of all life forms of animals, except the rearing of horses, for food, fibre, fuel, raw material or other similar products, on which either no further processing is done or such processing is done as is usually done by a cultivator or producer which does not alter its essential characteristics but makes it marketable for primary market;

Circular No. 16/16/2017-GST dated 15.11.2017

S.No. Issue Comment
1 Is GST applicable on warehousing of agricultural produce such as tea (i.e. black tea, white tea etc.), processed coffee beans or powder, pulses (de-husked or split), jaggery, processed spices, processed dry fruits, processed cashew nuts etc ? 1 ————————

2 ————————

3 ————————

4 ————————

5. Similarly, processing of sugarcane into jiggery changes its essential characteristics. Thus, jaggery is also not an agricultural produce.

6 —————

7. In view of the above, it is hereby clarified that processed products such as tea (i.e. black tea, white tea etc.), processed coffee beans or powder, 1 pulses (dehusked or split), jaggery, processed spices, processed dry fruits, processed cashew nuts etc. fall outside the definition of agricultural produce given in notification No. 11/2017-CT(Rate) and Notification No. 12/2017-Central Tax (Rate) 28th June, 2017 and corresponding notifications issued under IGST and UGST Acts and therefore the exemption from GST is not available to their loading, packing, warehousing etc. and that any clarification issued in the past to the contrary in the context of Service Tax or VAT/ Sales Tax is no more relevant.

On perusal of legal provisions (supra), we find that loading, unloading, packing, storage or warehousing of agricultural produce is exempted from GST. We also find that Agricultural produce in the notifications has been defined to mean “any produce out of cultivation of plants and rearing of all life forms of animals, except the rearing of horses, for food, fibre, fuel, raw material or other similar products, on which either no further processing is done or such processing is done as is usually done by a cultivator or producer which does not alter its essential characteristics but makes it marketable for primary market”. In light of the aforesaid definition any product in order to become an agricultural produce have the following criteria :-

(i) Any produce out of cultivation of plants and rearing of all life forms of animals;

(ii) Such produce does not require any further processing and if any processing shall be carried by producer or cultivator then said processing does not alter the essential characteristics of such produce;

(iii) the requirement of such initial processing is essential to make the produce marketable at the primary stage of marketing.

7.1 We further find that in terms of circular dated 15.11.2017, the storage/warehousing of goods viz pulses, jaggery, etc were taxable but with the introduction of entry 24B in the Exemption Notification No. 12/2017-Central Tax (Rate) 28th June, 2017 (as amended from time to time), storage/warehousing of pulses, jiggery, fruits, nuts & vegetables are exempted from GST w.e.f 01.10.2019.

8. From the record, we find that the applicant is engaged in rendering services by way of providing storage/warehousing facilities to variety of goods and in terms of legal provisions (supra), the applicability of GST in respect of said goods is as under:

S.No. Description of goods Taxable/Exempted Remark Applicable w.e.f
1 Curd Taxable Not agriculture produce 01.07.2017
2 Desi Ghee Taxable Not agriculture produce 01.07.2017
3 Dried Makhana Taxable Not agriculture produce 01.07.2017
4 Amla Pishti Taxable Not agriculture produce 01.07.2017
5 Indian Plum (fruit) Exempted In terms of Notification No. 12/2017-Central Tax (Rate) 28th June, 2017 01.10.2019
6 Pulses Exempted In terms of Notification No. 12/2017-Central Tax (Rate) 28th June, 2017 01.10.2019
7 Aaam Papad Taxable Not agriculture produce 01.07.2017
8 Coconuts (fresh/dried) (fruit/nut) Exempted In terms of Notification No. 12/2017-Central Tax (Rate) 28th June, 2017 01.10.2019
9 Dates, figs, pine apples, avocados, guavas, mangoes (fruits) Exempted In terms of Notification No. 12/2017-Central Tax (Rate) 28th June, 2017 01.10.2019
10 Rice (branded/unbranded) Exempted In terms of Notification No. 12/2017-Central Tax (Rate) 28th June, 2017 01.07.2017
11 Jaggery (all types) Exempted In terms of Notification No. 12/2017-Central Tax (Rate) 28th June, 2017 01.10.2019

9. The rate of GST for storage/warehouse of goods is 18% [9% CGST + 9% SGST].

ORDER

In view of the above discussion & findings we hold as under:

i. No tax is applicable on the hire charges for storage of agriculture produce;

ii. The tax is applicable on storage of all goods including exempted goods;

iii. The rate of tax is same for all goods stored.

Download Judgment/Order

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