WATER CESS

The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act, 1977 (No. 36 of 1977) was enacted to provide for the levy and collection of a cess on water consumed by persons carrying on certain industries and by local authorities, with a view to augment the resources of the Central Board and the State Boards for the prevention and control of water pollution constituted under The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974.

DEFINITIONS:
1.

“Local authority” is defined as “a municipal corporation or a municipal council (by whatever name called) or a cantonment board or any other body, entrusted with the duty of supplying the water under the law by or under which it is constituted.”

2.

“Industry” is defined as “any operation or process, or treatment and disposal system, which consumes water or gives rise to sewage effluent or trade effluent, but does not include any hydel power unit.”

LEVY AND COLLECTION OF CESS:
   
1.  

There shall be levied and collected a cess for the purpose of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and utilization there under.

2. The cess shall be payable by —
  (a) every person carrying on any industry; and
  (b) every local authority.

The cess shall be calculated on the basis of water consumed by such person or local authority, as the case may be, for any of the purposes specified in column (1) of Schedule II, at such rate, not exceeding the rate specified in the corresponding entry in Column (2) or (3) as applicable.  

Where any local authority supplies water to any person carrying on any industry or to any other local authority and such person or other local authority is liable to pay cess in respect of the water so supplied, then the local authority first mentioned shall not be liable to pay such cess in respect of such water.

Explanation – “consumption of water” includes supply of water.

FURNISHING OF RETURNS:
   
1.

Every person carrying on any industry and every local authority, liable to pay the cess under Section 3 of the Act, shall furnish a return, in prescribed Form I on or before the 5th of every calendar month to the assessing authority, showing the quantity of water consumed in the previous month.

2.

If a person carrying on any industry or a local authority, liable to pay the cess as above, fails to furnish any return, the officer or the assessing authority shall give a notice requiring such person or local authority to furnish such return before such date as may be specified in the notice

REBATE:

Where any person or local authority, liable to pay the cess under this Act, installs any plant for the treatment of sewage or trade effluent, such person or local authority shall from such date as may be prescribed, be entitled to a rebate of 25% (twenty five percent) of the cess payable by such person, or, as the case may be, local authority.

The person or local authority shall not be entitled to a rebate, if he or it :-
  1. consumes water in excess of the maximum quantity as may be prescribed in this behalf for any industry or local authority; or

  2. fails to comply with any of the provisions of section 25 of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 or any of the standards laid down by the Central Government under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.

INTEREST PAYABLE FOR DELAY IN PAYMENT OF CESS:

If any person carrying on any industry or any local authority fails to pay any amount of cess payable under Section 3 to the assessing authority within the date specified in the order of assessment made under Section 6, such person or local authority, as the case may be, shall be liable to pay interest on the amount to be paid at the rate of  2% (two percent) for every month or part of a month comprise in the period from the date on which such payment is due till such amount is actually paid.

PENALTY FOR NON-PAYMENT OF CESS WITHIN THE SPECIFIED TIME:

If any amount of cess payable by any person carrying on any industry or any local authority under Section 3 is not paid to the assessing authority within the date specified in the order of assessment made under section 6, it shall be deemed to be in arrears and the assessing authority may, after such inquiry as it deems fit, impose on such person or, as the case maybe, local authority, a penalty not exceeding the amount of cess in arrears.

Provided that before imposing any such penalty, such person or, as the case maybe, the local authority shall be given a reasonable opportunity of being heard and if after such hearing the assessing authority is satisfied that the default was for any good and sufficient reason, no penalty shall be imposed under this section.

 

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