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reinstatement charges paid to Municipal Authorities attracts GST

Shanti Prime Publication Pvt. Ltd.

Taxable or exempt service — The applicant is inter alia engaged in the business of generation, transmission and distribution of electricity. This calls for laying and maintenance of the power lines and other incidental work which requires the digging up of trenches. The Municipal Authorities grant the needful permissions. However, these permissions come with charges for restoring the street or pavement which has been dug up. Thus, the activity in the present case is the charges recovered by the Municipal Authorities to restore that portion of the street or pavement which has been dug up. It does not amount to construction of the entire road, as such. The question raised is whether reinstatement charges paid to municipal authorities would be liable to GST? Authority for Advance Ruling, Maharashtra held that:— In the present case, the business entities while performing their business activities request the Municipal Authorities to be allowed to dig up trenches for works such as laying or repairing some cables or pipes. There are so many such entities such as the telephone, gas, etc, Each time each one of them digs up the road and there is restoration required to be done. This restoration work would not result in performing of the sovereign function. The sovereign has already been performed by constructing the road or undertaking maintenance works roads. The restoration work can be equated neither to construction work nor to maintenance work as suo-motu undertaken by the Municipal Authorities. The restoration charges are also not in the nature that the Municipal Authorities are performing any job of construction for the applicant. The street or pavement or road that is dug up is a general road. In view of all above, we are of the firm view that it should not be disputed that the recovering of charges for restoring the patches which have been dug up by business entities of the nature as the applicant cannot be equated to performing a sovereign function as envisaged under article 243 W of the Constitution. Therefore, reinstatement charges and access charges paid to municipal authorities would be liable to GST.[2018] 51 TUD 122 (AAR-MAHARASTRA)

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