CESTAT, MUMBAI BENCH
Commissioner of Central Excise & Customs, Nagpur
ORDER NO. S/92/2012/SMB/C-IV
APPLICATION NO. E/STAY-2025/2010
APPEAL NO. E/1898/2010
MARCH 21, 2012
1. The appeal and stay application are directed against Order-in-Appeal No.: SR/240/ NGP/2010 dated 30/07/2010 passed by the Commissioner of Customs & Central Excise (Appeals), Nagpur.
2. The issue relates to availment of CENVAT credit on service tax paid on insurance in respect of the vehicles owned and used by the appellant. Since the amount involved is Rs. 37,009/-, which is less than Rs. 50,000/- application for admission has been made Since CENVAT credit is a recurring issue, the application for admission is allowed even though the amount is less than Rs. 50,000/-.
3. The issue for decision in this case is whether the service tax paid on insurance premium on the vehicles owned and employed by the appellant M/s. Manikgarh Cement, is eligible for CENVAT credit as ‘input service’ under Rule 2(1) of the CENVAT Credit Rules, 2004 or not? The department’s view is that since maintaining and running of vehicles has nothing to do with the manufacturing activity and hence the same is not admissible. Accordingly CENVAT credit was denied by both the adjudicating and appellate authorities. Therefore, the appellant is before me.
4. Shri J.C. Patel, learned advocate, made the following submissions, on behalf of the appellant.
4.1 As per Rule 2(l) of the CENVAT Credit Rules, 2004 ‘input service’ means:-
“(i) used by a provider of taxable service for providing an output service, or
(ii) used by the manufacturer, whether directly or indirectly, in or in relation to the manufacture of final products and clearances of final products from the place of removal,
and includes services used in relation to setting up, modernization, renovation or repairs of a factory, premises of provider of output service or an office relating to such factory or premises, advertisement or sales promotion, market research, storage upto the place of removal, procurement of inputs, activities relating to business, such accounting, auditing, financing, recruitment and quality control, coaching and training, computer networking, credit rating, share registry, and security, inward transportation of inputs or capital goods and outward transportation upto the place of removal”.
4.2 As per this definition maintenance of vehicles, which are used for transporting employees of the company or for transportation of raw materials or finished products of the company are in relation to the business activities of the company and is covered by the definition of ‘input service’ as defined in the said Rule. Accordingly, they are rightly entitled for the CENVAT credit of the service tax paid on such ‘input services’.
4.3 He also relies on the judgments of this Tribunal in the case of Commissioner of Customs & Central Excise v. H.E.G. Ltd. [Final Order No. 682/2010 SM (BR), dated 23-6-2010] and Surya Roshni Ltd. v. CCE [Stay Order No. 422/2009-SM (BR) (PB), dated 3-8-2009] wherein it was decided that service tax paid on car insurance/vehicle insurance is an eligible input service and the ratio of these decisions will apply squarely to the facts of the present case.
5. The learned Dy. Commissioner (AR) appearing for the Revenue reiterates the findings of the lower adjudicating and appellate authorities.
6. I have carefully considered the rival submissions. After hearing both the sides, I am of the view that the appeal itself can be disposed of at this stage. Therefore, after grant of stay against recovery of dues adjudged, I take up the appeal for consideration and disposal.
7. The definition of ‘input service’ provided under rule 2(l) of CENVAT Credit Rules, 2004 covers a gamut of activities relating to the business undertaken by the manufacturer or the service provider. In the case under consideration the appellant has used the vehicles owned by them either for transportation of their employees or for transportation of goods which is an integral part of the business of appellant-firm. Therefore, the service tax paid on the insurance premium of such vehicles is an ‘input service’ as defined under Rule 2(l). Further, this Tribunal in the case of H.E.G. Ltd. (cited supra) also came to the conclusion that insurance of vehicle is in relation to the maintenance of the vehicles and is eligible for credit as ‘input service’.
8. Following the ration of the above decision, I allow this appeal with consequential relief, if any.