Gowri Shankar, Member (T)
1. The question for consideration in this appeal is the eligibility of the bridge crane imported by the importer for the benefit of Notification 123/87. The notification exempts machinery falling within Chapter 84 or 85 of the tariff when imported for the manuracture or instruments, appliances, or equipments which function witn the aid of non-conventional form of energy from part of the basic duty and of all the additional duty of customs. It contains a condition that the importer produces a certificate from an officer not below the officer of Deputy Secretary in the Ministry of Energy (Department of Non Conventional Energy Resources) of the Government of India that the machine is required for the aforesaid purpose. The Assistant Commissioner of Customs took the view that the goods were nothing other than material handling machinery, and were not directly required for the manufacture of wind operated electricity generator. He therefore denied the benefit of the notification.
2. On appeal from this order, the Commissioner (Appeals), held that in view of the Supreme Court’s judgment in CCE v. Rajasthan State Chemical Works -1991 (55) E.L.T. 444, each step towards production of the manufactured product would be a process in relation to the manufacture. He noted the decision of the Tribunal in Foredge Granites Pvt. Ltd. v. CCE – 1993 (65) E.L.T. 415 that a crane used for movement of granite slabs during the manufacturing process is a part of the manufacturing plant and machinery. He noted that it is not possible to assemble the wind generator without using the crane. He therefore extended the benefit of the notification. This is challenged in this appeal by the department.
3. We have heard the departmental representative. The respondent is absent and unrepresented despite notice.
4. The ground in the appeal is that the decision relied upon by the Commissioner related to clarification of the term “processes in relation to the manufacture” and would not apply to the term “for the manufacture”. Other notifications issued by the Government are also cited to support the view that it is always the intention of the Government only to exempt those machines which perform the direct function of manufacture.
5. The latter contention is irrelevant. We have to go by the plain words of the notification, and not the possible intention there might be. The appeal does not dispute the view of the Commissioner (Appeals) that it is not possible to manufacture the wind operated electricity generator without using the crane. It is therefore required for the manufacture of the product. It would also appear that the certificate of the Deputy Secretary in the Ministry of Energy that the crane is required for the manufacture had been produced. The notification does not specify the condition that the imported goods must be used exclusively in the immediate process from the manufactured product emerges. Manufacture is a cumulative result of a series of processes and if for any one of these processes carried out in the respondent’s factory the crane is required, it would not be unreasonable to say that it is required for the manufacture of the finished product.
6. We therefore no reason to interfere and dismiss the appeal.