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Sub-contractor is not entitled of presumptive tax benefit u/s 44BB

The basic condition to be satisfied for applicability of section 44BB is that the plant or machinery(which term includes ship) supplied or rented on hire by the assessee-non-resident should be used in the prospecting for or extraction or production of minerals oils or where equipment has been supplied, such equipment should have been used for the purposes of prospecting for or extraction or production of mineral oils. There is nothing in the said provision so as to disentitle a sub-contractor from invoking the said provision. If the legislatures intention as contended by the Revenue was to restrict the benefit of sec. 44BB only to the main contractor or ONGC, then the words after 'the assessee engaged in the business of 'supplying plant and machinery on hire' or 'providing services or facilities' ought to have been omitted. Hence, where the provision does not create any discrimination between the person who actually does the activity of prospecting for or extraction or production, and the person who supplies the plants and machinery, the narrow interpretation of the provision is thus not permitted.

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