Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act
The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act was enacted in 1977, to provide for the levy and collection of a cess on water consumed by persons operating and carrying on certain types of industrial activities. This cess is collected 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. The Act was last amended in 2003.
Furnishing of Water Consumption Return
Under the provisions of the Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Cess Act, 1977, every person carrying on a specified industry (Annexure-I) and every local authority is required to furnish a return on Form-I (Annexure-II) showing the quantity of water consumed in a month on or before the 5th of the following month to the concerned Regional Office of the Board for onward transmission to the Assessing Authority (Member Secretary).
In the case the industry/local body fails to furnish the returns, the said authority shall, after making such inquiry as it deems fit by order, self assess the amount of cess payable by the concerned persons for carrying on of any specified industry or local authority, at the rate as shown in (Annexure-III) as the case may be.
The industry/local authority is required to pay cess amount within a period of 45/30 days from the date of assessment order, failing which interest @ 2% per month, on the amount of cess is payable. The assessing authority may also levy a penalty equivalent to the amount of cess not paid by the due date.
Where any person or local authority liable to pay cess under this Act installs any plant for the treatment of sewage or trade effluent, such person or local authority shall from such date be entitled to rebate of 25% of the cess payable by such person or, as the case may be, local authority.
Provided that a person or local authority shall not be entitled to the said rebate, if he or it consumes water in excess of the maximum quantity as may be prescribed (Annexure-IV) for any specified industry or local authority or fails to comply with any of the provisions of Section 25 of the Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 or any of the standards laid down by the Central Government under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.