AMRITSAR: After facing backlash, Government of India (GOI) on Friday revoked its decision to impose GST (Goods and Service Tax) on room booking in sarais of Sri Darbar Sahib (Golden Temple) here.
The government was under fire for imposing 12 percent GST on the room booking putting burden on the pocket of the devotees visiting the Central Sikh shrine. The matter was raised by Rajya Sabha Member Vikramjit Singh Sahney in Parliament zero hour.
In response to his efforts and criticism the government was drawing over this issue, Ministry of Finance and Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs clarified that there will be no GST applicable to the Sarais even outside Gurdwara premises owned by SGPC and other religious institutions, charitable trusts and societies.
Sahney also stated that these Sarais can be outside the boundary wall of Gurdwaras in the surrounding areas. He thanked the Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman for clarifying the GST on Sarais issue.
The Finance Ministry has said that the Goods and Services Tax will not apply on room rents of ‘sarais’ (inns) or properties managed by religious and charitable institutions.
There is another exemption which exempts renting of rooms in religious precincts by a charitable or religious trust, where the amount charged for the room is less than Rs 1,000 per day, it said, adding this exemption continues to be in force without any change.
“The precincts of a religious place, in terms of above notification, has to be given broader meaning to include a Sarai even if it is located outside the boundary wall of a complex of a religious place, in the surrounding area, and managed by the same trust/management,” another tweet said.
This view has been consistently taken by the Centre even in the pre-GST regime, it said, adding that state tax authorities may also take the same view in their jurisdiction.