A. CENTRAL EXCISE
1. Offences involving e
vasion of duty exceeding ₹ 50 lakh to attract imprisonment instead of earlier ₹ 30 lakh [Section 9(1)(i)]
2. Offences under Central Excise-Cognizable and non-cognizable)
Some offences under central excise are cognizable while others non-cognizable. Further, cognizable offences would be non-bailable and non-cognizable offences would be bailable.
3. Recovery mechanism strengthened [Section 11]
A. Powers of recovery
Earlier, only an officer empowered by CBEC was authorized to recover the excise duty. But now the officer empowered by the CBEC may also require the following two categories of officers to recover excise duty:
(i) A Central Excise Officer; or
(ii) A proper officer authorized to recover the sums due from the Government
(i) Issuance of the notice for recovery to any person other than from whom money is due: The Central Excise Officer may issue a written recovery notice to the following persons:
• any person from whom money is due to such person
• any person from whom money may become due to such person
• any person who holds money for or on account of such person
• any person who may subsequently hold money for or on account of such person.
(ii) Every person to whom a notice is issued under this sub-section shall be bound to comply with such notice.
(iii) In case of failure to make the payment, then the notice deemed to be the assessee in default. Therefore, all the consequences prescribed for assessees in default would apply for such other person as well.
4. Service of a statement containing details of duty not levied/paid, short levied/paid or erroneously refunded to be deemed to be service of show cause notice [Subsection (7A) inserted in section 11A]
If one show cause notice has been issued, then service of a statement containing details of non/short payment, short/non levy or erroneous refund of duty etc. would be deemed to be a service of show cause notice provided the grounds relied upon for the subsequent period are the same as are mentioned in the earlier notice(s).
Therefore, the limitation period of one year or five years, as the case may be, would be computed from the date of service of such statement.
5. Central Excise Officer empowered to attach the property belonging to person on whom notice is served under ANY sub-section of section 11A [Section 11DDA(1)]
Earlier, a Central Excise Officer could provisionally attach the property belonging to only such person on whom notice had been served under sub-section (1) of section 11A. Thus, in respect of notices issued under other sub-sections of section 1 IA namely, subsection (3), or (4) or (5), provisional attachment of property could not be ordered.
A Central Excise Officer to attach the property belonging to any person on whom a notice is served under any of the subsections of section 11A.
6. Scope of advance ruling widened [Section 23A(a) and section 23C(2)(e)]
(i) Existing producer or manufacturer may seek advance ruling at the time of starting a new line of business
It implies that any existing producer or manufacturer may also seek advance ruling in relation to any new business of production or manufacture proposed to be undertaken by him.
(ii) Advance ruling can also be sought on the issue of admissibility of credit of service tax paid or deemed to have been paid
Earlier, the application for advance ruling was admissible, inter alia, on the question of admissibility of credit of excise duty paid or deemed to have been paid on the goods used in or in relation to manufacture of the excisable goods.
Section 23C(2)(e) has been amended to extend the advance ruling provisions to the admissibility of the credit of service tax paid or deemed to have been paid on input services used in the manufacture of excisable goods as well.
7. Tribunal empowered to grant stay by another 185 days [Third proviso inserted to section 35C(2A)])
Where CESTAT grants a stay in an appeal filed before it, it shall dispose of the appeal (where it is possible to do so) within a period of 180 days from the date of stay order. In case the appeal is not disposed of within 180 days from the date of stay order, the tay order stands vacated [First and second provisos to section 35C(2A)].
The Finance Act, 2013 has inserted third proviso to section 35C(2A) to provide that CESTAT may further extend the period of stay, by not more than 185 days:
8. Monetary limit of the Single Bench of the Tribunal to hear and dispose of appeals enhanced from ₹ 10 lakh to ₹ 50 lakh [Section 35D(3)]
9. Speed post with proof of delivery or courier approved by the CBEC will also be the authorized modes of delivery of any decision or order or any summons or notices [Section 37C(1)(a)].