The impugned order dated 10th August 2017 is hereby quashed and set aside and the Commissioner of Sales Tax or any authorized Officer is directed to specify the effective date of the Eligibility Certificate without curtailing the validity period in terms of clause 3.1(3) of the Incentive Scheme within a period of four weeks from the date of receipt of this Judgment
The interpretation given by the Hon’ble Apex Court as regards the status of the directive principles of State Policy, in our considered opinion, applies to the facts and circumstances of the present case. The Incentive Scheme, as stated earlier, has been framed ostensibly to achieve industries have been offered and many of the industries have also availed of those incentives by setting up their industrial units situated in various parts across the State of Maharashtra. These units have been established by making substantial investment and even at the risk of increase in the expenditure on account of transportation, marketing and the like.
Thus, these units have suffered liabilities with the hope that the increased cost of production would be evened out appropriately by the incentives given to them.
25. Now, midway through the operation of the Incentive Scheme, many of the incentives are being taken away or reduced and if this is permitted, it would certainly adversely affect not only the industrial units, but also the whole process of achieving the directive of Article 39(c) that operation of economic system does not result in the concentration of wealth and means of production to the common detriment.
Such reduction under the Incentive Scheme in the name of new policy of GST is clearly not permissible and the Incentive Scheme that was in operation on one of the directives contained in Article 39(c) for ensuring equal distribution of wealth and means of production. Specific incentives to the date of issuance of Eligibility Certificate would have to be enforced consistent with the new tax structure under the General Sales Tax Scheme and at the same time it also does not result in reducing or restricting the benefits which have been conferred upon an industrial unit like that of the Petitioner under the Incentive Scheme.
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