Excise duty is a form of tax imposed on goods for their production, licensing and sale. An indirect tax paid to the Government of India by producers of goods, excise duty is the opposite of Customs duty in that it applies to goods manufactured domestically in the country, while Customs is levied on those coming from outside of the country.
At the central level, excise duty earlier used to be levied as Central Excise Duty, Additional Excise Duty, etc. However, the Goods and Services Tax (GST), introduction in July 2017, subsumed many types of excise duty. Today, excise duty applies only on petroleum and liquor.
Excise duty was levied on manufactured goods and levied at the time of removal of goods, while GST is levied on the supply of goods and services.
Alcohol does not come under the purview of GST as an exclusion mandated by constitutional provision. States levy taxes on alcohol according to the same practice as was prevalent before the rollout of GST.
After GST was introduced, excise duty was replaced by central GST because excise was levied by the central government. The revenue generated from CGST goes to the central government.
The Budget estimate of the government's excise duty revenue for the year 2020-21 was Rs 2,67,000 crore. The revised estimates of excise duty for the 2019-20 Budget came at Rs 2,48,000 crore, while the actuals for the 2018-19 Budget stood at Rs 2,30,992 crore.
Types of excise duty in India
Before GST kicked in, there were three kinds of excise duties in India.
Basic Excise Duty
Basic excise duty is also known as the Central Value Added Tax (CENVAT). This category of excise duty was levied on goods that were classified under the first schedule of the Central Excise Tariff Act, 1985. This duty was levied under Section 3 (1) (a) of the Central Excise Act, 1944. This duty applied on all goods except salt.
Additional Excise Duty
Additional excise duty was levied on goods of high importance, under the Additional Excise under Additional Duties of Excise (Goods of Special Importance) Act, 1957. This duty was levied on some special category of goods.
Special Excise Duty
This type of excise duty was levied on special goods classified under the Second Schedule to the Central Excise Tariff Act, 1985.