The Directorate General of Central Excise Intelligence (DGCEI) on 5 April 2015 slapped 570 crore rupees excise duty fine against confectionery giant Cadbury India Limited.
The fine was slapped for allegedly evading excise duty by fraudulently taking exemption for one of its unopened production units in Himachal Pradesh.
DGCEI in 2011 had initiated a probe against the company for allegedly misusing area-based exemption for its new unit in Baddi, Himachal Pradesh even before it came into existence.
After its investigation, the DGCEI had slapped a show-cause notice to the firm demanding about 250 crore rupees against excise duty evasion.
The demand was contested and the central excise office of Chandigarh had issued an assessment-cum-demand notice to Cadbury India Ltd (now Mondelez India Foods Private Limited) upholding the demands raised by the DGCEI.
It has demanded from the firm 574 crore rupees towards alleged excise duty evasion-including 231.47 crore rupees for the period from July 2010 to January 2013, 111.36 crore rupees for the period from February 2013 to December 2013 and a penalty of 231.47 crore rupees.
Further, a penalty of one crore rupees has also been imposed against Anand Kripalu, former managing director of Cadbury India Ltd for allegedly violating central excise rules. In addition, penalties to the tune of several lakhs of rupees have been imposed on a few present and former employees of the company.
Upon the order, the company said that it is examining the Commissioner’s order and will challenge the same in appeal.
As per the Union Government norms, the area-based exemption for new industrial units of firms in Himachal Pradesh provide full exemption from excise duties for specified goods for a period of 10 years. However, for availing such exemption the unit should have been established before March 2010 to claim such exemption.
During investigation, the DGCEI officials had found that Cadbury India Ltd claimed excise duty exemption for its new unit in Sandoli village in Baddi relating to a period even before it came into existence.
According to a certificate of Department of Industries, Himachal Pradesh, the unit was established after 31 March 2010.
When: 5 April 2015