S. 10A/10B: Law on what is “manufacture”, “production” & “processing” explained
The Special Bench had to consider whether the assessees engaged in the business of blending & processing of tea and export thereof can be said to “manufacturer/producer” of the tea for the purpose of s. 10A/10B of the Act. HELD by the Special Bench, after a comprehensive review of the entire law on the subject, and deciding in favour of the assessee:
The assessee was exclusively engaged in blending and packing of tea for export and was not manufacturing or producing any other article or thing. It was recognised as a 100% EOU division and the Department had no case that the assessee’s unit engaged in export of tea bags and tea packets was not a 100% EOU. If exemption was denied on the ground that products exported were not produced or manufactured in the industrial unit of the assessee’s 100% EOU, it would defeat the very object of s. 10B of the Act. When the products for which the assessee’s unit is recognized as a 100% EOU are tea bags, tea in packets and tea in bulk packs and the assessee is exclusively engaged in blending and packing of tea for export may not be manufacturer or producer of any other article or thing in common parlance. However, for purposes of s. 10A, 10AA & 10B, the definition of the word “manufacture” as defined in s. 2(r) of SEZ Act, Exim Policy, Food Adulteration Rules, 1955, etc have to be considered. The definition of ‘manufacture’ as per s. 2(r) of SEZ Act, 2005 is incorporated in s. 10AA of the I. T. Act w.e.f. 10.02.2006. This amendment is clarificatory in nature. The definition of ‘manufacture’ under the SEZ Act etc is much wider than what is the meaning of the term ‘manufacture’ under the Income-tax Act.