|CORAM:||G. S. Pannu (AM), R. S. Padvekar (JM)|
|CATCH WORDS:||Contractor, Developer|
|COUNSEL:||C. H. Naniwadekar|
|DATE:||September 17, 2014 (Date of pronouncement)|
|DATE:||October 5, 2014 (Date of publication)|
|FILE:||Click here to download the file in pdf format|
|For s. 80-IA(4) a developer is a person who designs and creates new projects whereas a contractor is a person who has a contract to do work|
Having regard to the scope of work executed by the assessee, it is difficult to comprehended that assessee was merely acting as a contractor. In common parlance, a contractor is understood as a person who carries out the assigned work as per the directions given by the contractee. In the present case, the assessee has used own-developed technology and its own resources to conceptualize, design, erect, commission, test and operate the ‘Saurashtra Branch Canal Pumping Scheme’. Therefore, in our view, assessee is to be understood as a ‘developer’, and distinct from a ‘contractor’ qua the impugned contract awarded by SSNNL. The Chennai Bench of the Tribunal in the case of ACIT vs. Indwel Lingins (P) Ltd., 122 TTJ 137 (Chennai) has noted that a developer is a person who designs and creates new projects whereas a contractor is a person who has a contract to do work. In the present case, as the scope of work shows, assessee did not merely carry out a contract to do work but was responsible for conceptualizing, designing, erecting, commissioning and operating the water pumping scheme. On the above aspect, the judgement of the Hon’ble Bombay High Court in the case of CIT vs. ABG Heavy Industries Ltd., 322 ITR 323 (Bom), clearly supports the plea of the assessee of being a developer. In the case before the Hon’ble High Court, assessee was awarded a contract by Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) to supply, install, test, commission and maintain the container handling equipment, namely, the cranes. JNPT was owing the dedicated container handling terminal. The stand of the Revenue was that assessee was not a developer of the infrastructure facility but had only supplied and installed the container handling cranes at the JNPT port. Therefore, it was contended by the Revenue that assessee was not eligible for the benefits of section 80IA of the Act. The Hon’ble High Court has negated the stand of the Revenue and held that the contract executed by the assessee for supply, installation, testing, commissioning and maintenance of container handling cranes at the JNPT terminal tantamounted to development of an infrastructure facility within the meaning of section 80IA of the Act. In our considered opinion, the said judgement of the Hon’ble High Court clearly covers the case of the assessee of being a ‘developer’ and not merely a ‘contractor’ for the purposes of section 80IA(4) of the Act.