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Cargo handlers urged to clear service tax liability

A SEMINAR was held at the office of the Chief Commissioner, Customs & Central Excise, Bhopal, to clarify provisions relating to Service Tax on cargo handling agencies.

india Updated: Mar 28, 2006 16:19 IST

A SEMINAR was held at the office of the Chief Commissioner, Customs & Central Excise, Bhopal, to clarify provisions relating to Service Tax on cargo handling agencies.

Chief Commissioner, Customs & Central Excise, Bhopal, P N Vittal Dass also addressed the gathering and called upon the cargo handlers to discharge their service tax liability with interest. He assured that a lenient view would be taken in the matter of imposition of penalty. 

Explaining the legal provisions, Joint Commissioner R S Maheshwari said that as per Section 68 of the Act, every person providing taxable service to any person should pay service tax. As per the General Clauses Act, persons shall include
company or association or body of individual, whether incorporated or not, he added.

According to an official release, as per the provisions of the Act “Cargo handling Services” means loading, unloading, packing or unpacking of cargo and includes cargo handling services provided by for freight in special containers or for non containerised freight, service provided by a container freight terminal or any other freight terminal, for all modes of transport, and any other service incidental to freight, but does not include handling of export cargo or passenger baggage or mere transportation or cargo.

The services which are liable to tax under this category are the services provided cargo handling agencies who undertake the activity of packing, unpacking, loading and unloading of goods meant to be transported by any means of transported by any means of transportation namely truck, rail, ship or aircraft.

Services provided by cargo handling agency are covered under the tax net, said officers of the Customs & Central Excise. However, the individuals who are undertaking loading/unloading etc. themselves in their individual capacity (such as hammals, porters, labourers etc.) they are cot covered as they are not an agency, they clarified. More than 50 cargo handlers from Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh attended the seminar.

Transporters Association, Bhopal president A K Malpani presented the vote of thanks.