Rajnish R. Singla (Advocate) Rudrapur
The Uttarakhand Cess Act, 2015 was enacted by the The Uttarakhand legislative Assembly vide notification- 334/XXXVI(3)/2015/57(1)/2015 dt. Dehradun, November, 2015. with a clause that it shall come into force on such date as the state Government may, by notification, appoint and different dates may be appointed for different provisions of this Act.
As per my knowledge till today no such notification enforcing The Uttarakhand Cess Act, 2015 has been issued by the State Government, meaning thereby that it is not in existence.
Where as Notifications No. 192/2016/17(120)/XXVII(8)/2014 dated 2/03/2016, Notification No. 193/2016/17(120)/XXVII(8)/2014 dated 2/03/2016 and Notification No. 194/2016/17(120)/XXVII(8) /2014 dated 2/03/2016 imposing cess on petrol @25 paise per litre, on diesel @50 paise per litre. All kinds of liquor @2% of the value of the goods, khani , tobacco, cigarette, gutka @2% on the value of goods and Ready to eat foods ( fast foods) sold by Pizza Outlets or Fried Chicken outlets, Pre- packed eatables, pre- packed Soft drinks, fruit drinks, flavoured drinks and beverages but not including pre- packed lassi, buttermilk and milk @2% on the value of the goods.
It was held by The Hon’ble Supreme Court in the matter of The Ahmedabad Mfg & Calico Printing Co. ltd. V/s State of Gujarat AIG 1976 SC1 916 – “The ‘cess’ is nothing more than an addition to existing taxes. As it is a percentage of another tax, the determination of the cess is not by the independent assessment. It is an arithmetical under other Act or Acts. “
Therefore, generally cess means a tax on a tax and in Hindi it is known as Up – kar. Where as in the present act it has been imposed either on the quantity of goods or on the value of the goods which is against the basic principle.
Interestingly the basic Act (The Uttarakhand Cess Act 2015) is still dormant, where as schedule I, schedule II, schedule III of the Act has been made active which is not possible . But perhaps, Everything is possible in the State of Uttarakhand.