GST does not apply to serais run by SGPC, clarifies Centre

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 5

The Finance Ministry has said the Goods and Services Tax (GST) will not apply to room rent of ‘serais’ (inns) or properties managed by religious and charitable institutions. The announcement comes after The Tribune reported some serais managed by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) were charging GST on room rent after the new GST norms came into force on July 18.

“It has come to notice that three serais — Guru Gobind Singh NRI Niwas, Baba Deep Singh Niwas, Mata Bhag Kaur Niwas — managed by the SGPC in Amritsar started paying GST with effect from July 18, 2022. These serais must avail the exemptions (given to religious properties),” said a clarification issued by the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) late Thursday evening following a demand from various quarters, including AAP MP Raghav Chadha, that the GST on rooms rented out by religious institutions should be withdrawn.

“The precincts of a religious place, in terms of the above notification, has to be given a broader meaning to include a serai even if it is located outside the boundary wall of a complex of a religious place,” the CBIC tweeted. This view has been consistently taken by the Centre even in the pre-GST regime, it said, while advising state tax authorities to also take the same view.

Chadha had met Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday and submitted a letter regarding withdrawal of the decision of imposing 12 per cent GST on serais located near the Golden Temple in Amritsar.

The GST Council had in June decided that 12 per cent tax would be levied on all hotel rooms that cost below Rs 1,000 per day.

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