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Taxation of inputs, like raw materials, components and other intermediaries had a number of limitations. In production process, raw material passes through various processes stages till a final product emerges. Thus, output of the first manufacturer becomes input for second manufacturer and so on. When the inputs are used in the manufacture of product `A', the cost of the final product increases not only on account of the cost of the inputs, but also on account of the duty paid on such inputs. As the duty on the final product is on ad valorem basis and the final cost of product `A' includes the cost of inputs, inclusive of the duty paid, duty charged on product `A' meant doubly taxing raw materials. In other words, the tax burden goes on increasing as raw material and final product passes from one stage to other because, each subsequent purchaser has to pay tax again and again on the material which has already suffered tax. This is called cascading effect or double taxation.

This very often distorted the production structure and did not allow the correct assessment of the tax incidence. Therefore, the Government tried to remove these defects of the Central Excise System by progressively relieving inputs from excise and countervailing duties. An ideal system to realize this objective would have been to adopt value added taxation (VAT). However, on account of some practical difficulties it was not possible to fully adopt the value added taxation.

Hence, Government evolved a new scheme, `MODVAT' (Modified Value Added Tax). MODVAT Scheme which essentially follows VAT Scheme of taxation. i.e. if a manufacturer A purchases certain components(raw materials) from another manufacturer B for use in its product. B would have paid excise duty on components manufactured by it and would have recovered that excise duty in its sales price from A. Now, A has to pay excise duty on product manufactured by it as well as bear the excise duty paid by the supplier of raw material B. Under the MODVAT scheme, a manufacturer can take credit of excise duty paid on raw materials and components used by him in his manufacture. It amounts to excise duty only on additions in value by each manufacturer at each stage.

The modvat scheme is regulated by Rules 57A to 57U of the Central Excise Rules and the notifications issued there under (The Central Excise Rules, 2002 (Section 143 of the Finance Act, 2002).

Modvat Scheme ensures the revenue of the same order and at same time the price of the final product could be lower. Apart from reducing the costs through elimination of cascade effect, and bringing in greater rationalization in tax structure and also bringing in certainty in the amount of tax leviable on the final product, this scheme will help the consumer to understand precisely the impact of taxation on the cost of any product and will, therefore, enable consumer resistance to unethical attempts on the part of manufacturers to raise prices of final products, attributing the same to higher taxes.

Subsequently, MODVAT scheme was restructured into CENVAT( Central Value Added Tax) scheme. A new set of rules 57AA to 57AK , under The Cenvat Credit Rules, 2004, were framed and whatever restrictions restrictions were there in MODVAT Scheme were put to an end and comparatively, a free hand was given to the assesses.
Under the Cenvat Scheme, a manufacturer of final product or provider of taxable service shall be allowed to take credit of duty of excise as well as of service tax paid on any input received in the factory or any input service received by manufacturer of final product.

The term "Input" means: -

  1. All goods, except light diesel oil, high speed diesel oil and motor spirit, commonly known as petrol, used in or in relation to the manufacture of final products whether directly or indirectly and whether contained in the final product or not and includes lubricating oils, greases, cutting oils, coolants, accessories of the final products cleared along with the final product, goods used as paint, or as packing material, or as fuel, or for generation of electricity or steam used in or in relation to manufacture of final products or for any other purpose, within the factory of production

  2. All goods, except light diesel oil, high speed diesel oil, motor spirit, commonly known as petrol and motor vehicles, used for providing any output service;

Explanation 1 : The light diesel oil, high-speed diesel oil or motor spirit, commonly known as petrol, shall not be treated as an input for any purpose whatsoever.

Explanation 2 : Inputs include goods used in the manufacture of capital goods which are further used in the factory of the manufacturer;"

The term "Input service" means any service: -

  1. Used by a provider of taxable service for providing an output service; or

  2. Used by the manufacturer, whether directly or indirectly, in or in relation to the manufacture of final products and clearance 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 as 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;"

Manufacturer and service providers can avail Cenvat credit of capital goods used by them. The plant and machinery and allied items are purchased by a manufacturer. Such goods known as capital goods may be duty paid. The capital goods shall be used in manufacture of final products or for providing output service. The CENVAT credit in respect of duty paid on capital goods shall be taken only for an amount not exceeding fifty percent of the duty paid in the same financial year and the credit of balance amount can be take in any financial year subsequent to the financial year in which the capital goods were received.

Duty Paying Documents against which CENVAT credit can be availed are:-

  • Invoice issued by

    • A manufacture of inputs or capital goods.

    • An importer

    • An importer from his depot or premises of consignment agent,

    • Provided the depot/ premises is registered with central excise

    • A first/second stage dealer.

  • A supplementary invoice

  • A bill of entry.

  • A certificate issued by appraiser of customs

  • An invoice/bill/challan issued by providers of input service.

  • A challan evidencing payment of service tax.

Credit of duty is allowed only if all the conditions given below are met:-

  • The basic criteria for availment of credit of duty paid on inputs or capital goods is that the goods shall be used in manufacture of final products.

  • The goods shall be accompanied with proper prescribed documents.

  • The final products shall not be exempt from whole of duty or chargeable to nil rate of duty.

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