CX - Newsprint is defined as paper 'intended' for printing of newspaper - it is not necessary that such paper should be 'compulsorily' used for printing of newspaper: CESTAT
By TIOL News Service
MUMBAI, OCT 11, 2017: THIS is a Revenue appeal filed in the year 2006.
The respondent is engaged in the manufacture and clearances of different varieties of paper falling under Chapter 48 of the CETA, 1985.
The Ministry of Industry, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, New Delhi vide S. No. 797 (E) dated 29/09/1995 declared the respondent's unit as a "mill producing News Print".
For the purpose of Chapter 48, "News Print"  is defined by Notification No. 23/98-CE dated 01/08/1998 as a paper of kind – (a) intended for the printing of newspaper and (b) manufactured by a manufacturer of news print specified under Schedule-1 of the Newsprint Control Order, 1962, and supplied against a purchase order placed upon such manufacturer by a newspaper, which is registered by the registrar of Newspapers of India under the provisions of the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867 (25 of 1867). Newsprint, in Rolls or sheets is subject to Nil Rate of duty as per Tariff.
During scrutiny of the records, it was noticed that the respondent had sold "newsprint" paper (4801) without payment of Central Excise duty to the following customers, who were registered under the provisions of the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867.
a) Ashwani Printers, Bangalore
b) Andhra Law Times, Hyderabad
c) Golden Gate Success Line, Bangalore
It is the claim of the department that upon perusal of the registration certificate of the above customers, it was revealed that they were engaged in publication of monthly/fortnightly journals and educational textbooks and not newspaper.
And, therefore, the respondent is not entitled for the benefit of the Nil Tariff rate read with Notification No. 23/98-CE dated 01/08/1998.
The demand of CE duty was confirmed by the adjudicating authority but the Commissioner(A), after appreciation of various details and definition of newsprint as provided under Notification No. 23/98-CE dated 01/08/1998, allowed the appeal.
Therefore, the revenue is before the CESTAT.
After considering the submissions made by both sides, the Bench adverted to the definition of 'Newsprint' and observed -
"5.1 As per the above definition, the paper should be of a kind, which is intended for printing of newspaper , it is not necessary that such paper should be compulsorily used for printing of newspaper . In the present case there is no dispute that the paper supplied by the respondent is of a kind which can be used for printing of newspaper and the second criteria is that it should be manufactured by a manufacturer or news print specified under Schedule -1 of the news print control order 1962. On perusal of the order dated 20/09/1995 issued by Govt. of India, Ministry of Industry, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, the respondent's mill has been notified in pursuance of Item 3 of Schedule-1 read with sub-clause (e) of Clause 2 of the Newsprint Control Order, 1962, as a mill producing Newsprint. Therefore, the aforesaid criteria of mill being a manufacturer of newsprint is not under dispute. The other criteria is that the newsprint should be supplied against a purchase order placed upon such manufacturer by a news print, which is registered by the Registrar of newspaper for India under the provisions of Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867. As per the registration certificate of the buyers produced by the respondent, it is observed that the buyer is registered by the Registrar of newspaper for India as a "newspaper". As per this certificate, the criteria of buyer to be registered as newspaper under the provisions of Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867 also stand fulfilled. It is not necessary that the buyer should be compulsorily print the newspaper and the news print supplied by the respondent should be used in printing of such newspaper. The criteria is limited to the buyer should be registered as newspaper, which is not under dispute. Therefore, in our considered view, the newsprint supplied by the to the various buyers are clearly covered under the definition of "newsprint" as provided under Notification No. 23/98-CE dated 01/08/1998 ."
The order of Commissioner(A) was upheld and the Revenue appeal was dismissed.