The Mumbai Bench of Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) held that no Service Tax payable on entitlement towards “Cost Petroleum” is not a consideration for service to Government of India.
The appellant, B.G. Exploration & Production India Ltd. is primarily engaged in the business of developing, exploring and producing oil and gas from the contracted areas in Mid and South Tapti Fields and Panna & Mukta Fields (Offshore areas of Western India).
In terms of article 297 of the Constitution of India, lands, minerals and other things of value underlying the ocean within the territorial waters, or the continental shelf, or the exclusive economic zone of India, vest in the Union and are to be held for the purposes of the Union. The Government of India took a policy decision to enter into public-private partnerships with private parties, with a view to optimise production of such natural resources. Accordingly, the Government of India issued a Notice Inviting Offers for joint ventures to develop medium sized oil fields in India. Pursuant to the said Notice Inviting Offers, the Government of India entered into contracts with private parties for production of petroleum and the costs and profits were shared between the Government and the private parties as per the formula prescribed and agreed in the Contracts. The purpose of the said Contracts was to obtain capital investment and technical expertise from the private parties to achieve the objective of optimum production. The common objective was to explore, develop and produce the maximum amount of mineral resource for commercial sale.
The coram headed by the president Justice Dilip Gupta and Technical Member, P.Anjani Kumar held that Contractors carry out the exploration and production of petroleum for themselves and not as a service to the Government of India and “Cost Petroleum” is not a consideration for service to Government of India and thus not taxable per se. It is, therefore, more than apparent that the aforesaid Circular only confirms the view taken by the Tribunal in the decision rendered on 06.10.2021.Subscribe Taxscan AdFree to view the Judgment