Mangaluru, March, 16, 2016 : The ongoing protest by jewellers across the country against the imposition of excise duty of one per cent on jewellery, Commissioner of Central Excise Dr M Subramanyam has said that artisans or a goldsmith, who only manufactures jewels on job work basis, is not required to register with the central excise, pay duty and file returns as all these obligations apply only on the principal manufacturers.
He said the protest was wholly misconceived. Allaying the fears of the jewellers, that there is an easy compliance with provision for online application for registration, payment of excise duty and filing of returns with zero interface from the departmental officers. The central excise officers have been directed not to visit the premises of the jewellery manufacturers. Articles of silver (other than those studded with diamonds, ruby, emerald or sapphire) are exempted from the central excise duty. The excise duty is only on the main manufacturers and not on the retail outlets, he added.
He said there is a substantially high small scale industries excise duty exemption limit of Rs 6 crore in a year (as against normal SSI exemption limit of Rs 1.5 crore) along with a higher eligibility limit of Rs 12 crore (as against normal SSI eligibility limit of Rs 4 crore). Thus, only if the turnover of a jeweller during the preceeding financial year is more than Rs 12 crore, he will be liable to pay the excise duty. The jewellers having a turnover below Rs 12 crore during the preceding financial year will be eligible for exemption up to Rs 6 crore during the next financial year. As the excise duty of one per cent came into effect from March 1, 2016, the small jewellers will be eligible for exemption up to Rs 50 lakh for the month of March, 2016, he stated.
He said for the determination of eligibility for the SSI Exemption for the month of March 2016 or financial year 2016-17, a certificate from a chartered accountant, based on the books of accounts for 2014-15 and 2015-16 will suffice. The jewellers should also obtain the registration certificate which they have to apply online. The department has provided the facility of optional centralised registration. As a result, there is no need for a jewellery manufacturer to take separate registration for all his premies. In fact, within two days of the submission of registration application, the certificate will be issued. There will be no post registration physical verification of the premises by the officials of central excise, he clarified.
In contrast to the jewellers’ claim that they have to maintain a different set of books of accounts as well as other documents, the commissioner said that jewellers’ private records or records for State VAT or records for Bureau of Indian Standards will be accepted for all the central excise purposes. Also, there is no requirement to file a stock declaration to the jurisdictional central excise authorities.
The excise duty is to be paid on monthly basis and no each clearance with the first installment of duty payment for the month of March 2016 to be paid by March 31, 2016.