The Sugar Cess (Amendment) Act, 2015

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The present enactment, being the Sugar Cess (Amendment) Act of 2015 (Act no. 9 of 2016) was enacted with the object to Amend the provisions of the Sugar Cess Act, of 1982 (Act no. 3 of 1982), which was enacted with the aim and object to make provisions for the imposition and collection of the Cess as duty of excise on Sugar for the development of the Sugar industry and also for some other matters which are connected with such sugar cess. And such sugar cess will be imposed and collected for crediting the same to the Sugar Development Fund. Moreover, that original Sugar Cess Act of 1982 is comprising of only Six sections. And it was brought into operation on 1st day of June, 1982, and also it was amended in the years 1982 and 2008.

The Bill as ‘Money Bill’ in connection with this present Amending Act was introduced in the Lok Sabha by the Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution on 15th day of December, 2015. Moreover, this Bill was passed in Lok Sabha on 11th day of December, 2015 and it was send to the Rajya Sabha for consideration, however, Upper House did not returned the said Bill even after 14 days and as such the same is deemed to be passed from Rajya Sabha. Also, the President of India has give his assent to the Bill on 8th day of January, 2016. As such, the same Bill has become law with such assent of honourable President and it be brought into effect in the Sixty- Sixth year of Republic of India. This Amending Act is containing only Two sections.

The Original Act is empowering the Central Government for the imposing and collection of the Cess as the duty of excise for the purpose of Sugar Development Fund. And in that enactment, as per section 3 thereof the cess as a duty of excise should be levied and collected on all Sugar produced by any Sugar factory in India at the rate of not more than TEN rupees per quintal of sugar. And the Central Government was allowed to fix the rate of cess which should not exceed the limit and notify the same in the official gazette. However, the said maximum limit of the rate of cess was changed to FIFTEEN rupees per quintal of sugar by the Amending Act of 1982 (Act no. 57 of 1982).

Moreover, mine while the Original Act was also amended in the year 2008 by the Sugar Development Fund (Amendment) Act (Act no. 4 of 2008). And with that Amending Act, the rate of sugar cess was also modified and increased. As per the provisions contained in that Amending Act, the Cess on sugar was increased to Twenty- Five rupees, from the rate FIFTEEN rupees. Thereafter, the rate of sugar cess was still, till the present amending law passed.

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Similarly, in the recent past years it was felt needed to enhance Sugar Development Fund and this can be done through levy and collection of more cess. Moreover, this need was felt due to committed expenditure on account of various interventions undertaken for facilitating the liquidation of arrears of cane dues. And as such, the Bill in relation to the present Amending Act was brought. And as per the section 2 of this Amending Act of 2015, the rate of cess on sugar is modified.

Section 2 of the Amending Act, requires alteration in the words mentioned in the Sub section (1) Section 3 of the Original Act of 1982. It is as such placing the words ‘Two Hundred Rupees’ in the place of the words ‘Twenty- Five rupees’ in said Section 3, sub section (1) of the Original Act. Moreover, it is notable from this amendment that the rate of Cess on sugar is increased to Two Hundred rupees per quintal of Sugar from the date on which the present Amending Law be brought into effect.

Adv. Faim Khalilkhan Pathan

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