The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) on Thursday clarified rumours regarding GST being imposed on Gangajal (water from the holy Ganga river), saying that since Gangajal is ‘puja samagri’ (prayer item) it does not come under GST.
Goods and Services Tax, said CBIC, has never been applicable to prayer items right from when the tax was introduced (July 1, 2017).
“Gangajal is used in pooja by households across the country and puja samagri is exempt under GST. GST on puja samagri was discussed in detail in the 14th and 15th meetings of the GST Council held on 18/19 May 2017 and 3rd June 2017 respectively and decided to keep them in the exempt list. Therefore, all these items have been exempt since the introduction of GST,” the body posted on X (formerly Twitter).
The clarification from CBIC, the Finance Ministry’s revenue department, came after several media reports claimed that from now on, the holy water will come under GST, with the tax rate being 18%.
The reports triggered a war of words between the BJP and the Congress, with the latter taking potshots at the ruling party.
Also, some people tried to counter CBIC’s statement with a screenshot of India Post’s charges on Gangajal services which said ‘inclusive of GST @ 18%.’ It must be noted, however, that this 18% tax is on postal/courier services and not Gangajal.
Source: Hindustan Times