CESTAT, KOLKATA BENCH
East India Minerals Ltd.
Commissioner of Central Excise, Customs & Service Tax
FINAL ORDER NOS. A-386-387 (KOL.) OF 2011
APPEAL NOS. ST/54-55 OF 2010
DECEMBER 22, 2011
Dr. Chittaranjan Satapathy, Technical Member – Heard both sides. The impugned refund claims were filed by the appellant-exporter for refund of service tax paid on GTA services in respect of transport of the impugned goods directly from the place of removal to the port from where the same were exported. The claims were made under Notification No. 41/2007-ST dt. 6.10.2007. These claims related to exports made prior to the amendment of the notification on 19.2.2008. However, the claims were filed after the date of amendment which allowed refund of service tax on GTA services for transport of export goods directly from the place of removal to the port. The claims have been rejected on the ground that on the date of export, refunds of service tax on GTA services were only allowed from the ICD to the port and not from the place of removal to the port.
2. The Id. advocate, Shri S.K. Mohanty appearing for the appellant, states that since the refund was admissible as on the date of filing the claim, the same should be allowed. He also refers to the Government’s policy that export goods should not be burdened with the domestic taxes and the export goods should not be made costly and less competitive in the foreign market.
3. The ld. SDR, Shri S. Misra appearing for the department, supports the impugned order and states that the refund was not admissible on the date of export and hence the same cannot be allowed.
4. We have considered the arguments from both sides. We find that the impugned exemption notification allowing refund of service tax paid in respect of exports has been issued with the sole objective of removing the burden of service tax from the export goods. It has been rightly contended by the ld. advocate that it is the avowed policy of the Government not to export domestic tax along with export goods and to make such goods competitive in the foreign market. We also find that in the case of WNS Global Services (P.) Ltd. v. CCE  13 STT 37 (Mum. – CESTAT), it was held in paragraph 10 thereof that where refund claims are filed after the amendment, and the claims satisfy: the requirements under the amended rules, the refund claims should not be rejected. We further find that when the time-limit for filing the refund claim was increased from 60 days to 6 months by amending the Notification No.41/07-ST on 18.11.2008, the Board itself by circular dt. 12.3.2009 clarified that pending claims should be dealt with applying the amended provision as also noted by another Bench of the Tribunal in the case of CCE v. Essar Steel Ltd. [Final Order Nos. A/1571-1572/2010-WZB/Ahd., dated 17-9-2010]. Following the ratio of the above cited decisions, and the Board’s circular and also keeping in view the objective of the Government policy to encourage exports and not to burden the export goods with domestic taxes, we are of the view that the impugned refund claims should be allowed, if otherwise due, since on the date of filing the claims, the requirement of the notification has been satisfied and the service taxes paid in respect of GTA services used for transport of the impugned goods for export from the place of removal to the port have become refundable.
5. Accordingly, we set aside the impugned order and allow both the appeals with the direction that the refund be sanctioned, if otherwise due.
6. Both the appeals are allowed.