The assessee (appellant) availed the service of manpower supply agents for hiring of the trained persons for providing first-aid to the workers/employees requiring the same. For deploying the persons qualified to provide first-aid, the appellant have received the services from the man power supply agent in respect of which they availed Cenvat credit of Rs. 3,80,279/- during the period from December, 2008 to November, 2009. The department being of the view that these services have no nexus with the manufacturing, issued show cause notice for recovery of the above Cenvat credit along with interest and also for imposition of penalty. The show cause notice was adjudicated by the Assistant. Commissioner who confirmed the above Cenvat credit demand and also levied penalty of equal amount.
On appeal being filed to the Commissioner (Appeals), he upheld the Assistant Commissioner’s order observing that the service, in question, availed by the appellant has no nexus with the manufacture of their final product and compliance with other relevant Acts is for the factory and same does not make nexus with the manufacture of their final products as per the Central Excise Law. Against this order of the Commissioner (Appeals), this appeal has been filed along with stay application.
Contention of the Assessee:-,
Learned Counsel for the appellant, pleaded that maintaining first-aid room equipped with first-aid kit along with the trained persons for providing first-aid treatment is the requirement of Section 45 of the Factories Act, 1948 and there is similar provision in respect of Mines in Section 21 of the Mines Act, 1952, that unless the appellant comply with the provisions of Factories Act and Mines Act, they would not be allowed to carry on the manufacturing activities and hence, the maintenance of first-aid box along with trained persons and the availment of services for this purpose is an activity which has to be treated as in or in relation to the manufacture of final products, that the Commissioner (Appeals) finding that the compliance with other relevant Acts is for the factory and the same is not relevant for the purpose of Central Excise Law, is not correct. Thus, he demanded the adjudication order to be quashed.
Contention of Revenue:
Learned Counsel for Revenue, defended the impugned order by reiterating the findings of the Commissioner (Appeals) and emphasized that the maintenance of first-aid box along with trained persons has no nexus with the manufacture of the final products.
Decision of CESTAT:-
The tribunal have considered the submissions from both the sides and perused the records. Providing of first-aid facilities to the workers, whether in the factory or in mines is the requirement of the Factories Act, 1948 and also the Mines Act, 1952 and if a manufacturer wants to carry on manufacturing activities, he has to comply with the provisions of the Factories Act and the Mines Act. In view of this, the availment of service for maintenance of the first-aid facilities for the workers has to be treated as the service used in or in relation to the manufacture of final products.
‘Input Service’ is defined under Rule 2(l) of the Cenvat Credit Rules, which includes services used by the manufacturer, whether directly or indirectly, in or in relation to the manufacture of final products and clearance of final products upto the place of removal
In view of the definition of “input service” which means any service used by the manufacturer, whether directly or indirectly, in or in relation to the manufacture of final products, the input service does not have to used directly in the manufacture of final products, it may be a service which is only indirectly used in relation to the manufacture of final products.
Thus, the impugned order denying the Cenvat credit is not sustainable. The same is set aside. The appeal was thus, allowed in the favour of assessee.
Analysed by CA Saurabh Chokhra