The GST regime repeals the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act 1977

The GST regime repeals the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act 1977

By Dr. Yashpal Singh

Former, Director, Environment, Government of U.P.

 

The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act 1977 provided that the State Pollution Control Boards and Committees shall levy and collect a Cess on water consumed by persons carrying on any Industry and from all Local authorities. This enactment, earlier made with the objective of augmenting the resources of the Pollution Control Boards, has been totally repealed through provisions of Section 18 of the Taxation Laws (Amendment Act) 2017.

The relevant provisions of the Taxation laws (Amendment Act) 2017 and the General Clauses Act 1897 have been reproduced below. A perusal of the same, to my understanding, indicates that-

  • No Fresh Cess returns have to be submitted for periods beyond 01-07-2017.
  • No fresh assessments have to be made by the Pollution Control Boards/Committees for consumption beyond 01-07-2017.
  • Cess not collected by the Pollution Control Board for periods prior to 01-07-2017 shall be collected and paid by the Pollution Control Boards/Committees (the designated collection Authorities) to the Consolidated Fund of India.
  • All persons liable to pay cess before 1st July, 2017 shall continue to be assessed and cess collected from the date of acquisition of such liability.

The Taxation Laws (Amendment) Act, 2017 has been enacted by Parliament and notified by the Ministry of Law and Justice, Government of India on 04-05-2017 vide No. 19. This law amends the Customs Act, 1962, the Customs Tariff Act, 1975, the Central Excise Act, 1944, the Central Sales Tax Act, 1956, the Finance Act, 2001 and the Finance Act  2005. It also repeals certain other enactments.  The whole of The Sugar Cess Act, 1982  and Sub-section (2) of section 3 of The Sugar Development Fund Act, 1982  have also been repealed.

Section 18 of the Laws Amendment Act of 2017

Section 18 of the Amendment Act of 2017 provides as follows.

  1. The enactments specified in the third column of the Third schedule are hereby repealed to the extent specified in the fourth column thereof.
  2. Notwithstanding the repeal under subsection (I), such repeal shall not-
  • Affect any other law in which the repealed enactment has been applied, incorporated or referred to.
  • Affect the validity, invalidity, effect or consequences of anything already done or suffered or any right, title, obligation or liability already acquired, accrued or incurred or any remedy or proceedings in respect thereof, or any release or discharge of or from any debt, penalty, obligation, liability, claim or demand, or any indemnity already granted or the proof of any past act or thing under the repealed enactment.
  • Affect any principle or rule of law, or established jurisdictions, form or course of pleading, practice or procedure or existing usage, custom, privilege, restriction, exemption, office or appointment, notwithstanding that the same respectively may have been in any manner affirmed or recognized or desired by, in or from any enactment hereby repealed.
  • Review or restore any jurisdiction, office, custom, liability, right, title, privilege, restriction, exemption, usage, practice, procedure or other matter or thing not now existing in force.

2. The mention of particular matters in subsection (i) shall not be held prejudice or affect the general application of section 6 of the general clauses Act, 1897 with regard to the effect of appeals.

 Section 19  of the Laws Amendment Act of 2017

 Notwithstanding the repeal of the enactments specified in the Third schedule, the proceeds of duties levied under the said enactments immediately preceding the date appointed under sub section 2 of section 1.

  1. If collected by the collecting agencies but not paid into the Reserve Bank of India, or
  2. If not collected by the collecting agencies

shall be paid or as the case may be, collected and paid into the Reserve Bank of India for being credited to the Consolidated Fund of India.

Section 6 of the General Clauses Act, 1897

Section 6 of the General Clauses Act, 1897 has the following provisions on effect of repeal.

Effect of repeal. ?Where this Act, or any Central Act or Regulation made after the commencement of this Act, repeals any enactment hitherto made or hereafter to be made, then, unless a different intention appears, the repeal shall not

  1. revive anything not in force or existing at the time at which the repeal takes effect; or
  2. affect the previous operation of any enactment so repealed or anything duly done or suffered there under; or
  3. affect any right, privilege, obligation or liability acquired, accrued or incurred under any enactment so repealed; or
  4. affect any penalty, forfeiture or punishment incurred in respect of any offence committed against any enactment so repealed; or
  5. affect any investigation, legal proceeding or remedy in respect of any such right, privilege, obligation, liability, penalty, forfeiture or punishment as aforesaid, and any such investigation, legal proceeding or remedy may be instituted, continued or enforced, and any such penalty, forfeiture or punishment may be imposed as if the repealing Act or Regulation had not been passed.
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