25 Jan 2019Posted By: Mudit Handa


Hajj Pilgrims to get Huge Relief from GST This Year

We all know that India is the abode of various cultures, rituals and spirituality. Being a secular country, India has governance that gives due consideration to every religion and community. The newly implemented Indirect tax Regime, the GST regime is also exercised on the secular principles. Mostly, the GST authority extends relaxations on many rituals pertaining to different religions of the country. There are specific sections in CGST Act 2017 that exempt temples, mosques, churches, Gurdwaras, and other such religious institutions from GST liability. Besides, they are also exempted from getting GST registration.

Post GST implementation, religious institutions such as temples and mosques shall take no extra money in the name of the tax, as it was earlier done during the service tax regime. Everyone knows that devotees book for ‘darshan’ and other ritual services online well in advance. Such services are treated fairly under the Goods and Services Tax regime.

In this context, it’s important to note that the GST department has recently extended a major relaxation to the Hajj pilgrims, who are planning to go to the holy pilgrimage this year.

The GST rate on Hajj pilgrimage will be reduced from 18%-5%. This is also going to boost air travel.
 

#1. How much GST reduction has been given on Hajj pilgrimage?

The Union Minister for Minority Affairs Sh. Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has told that the Hajj 2019 is indeed a great event.

  • Over 2,67,000 applications have been already received for the Hajj 2019 out of which 1,64,902 are online.
  • Thus, it has been decided by the GST council to give some major relief to the pilgrims in respect of GST. The rate of GST pilgrimage has been sharply reduced from 18% to 5%. Very importantly, this will result in a sharp fall in airfares.


#2. How much reduction will be there on the air-tickets?

The tax authorities have said that this, the Hajj pilgrims all over India will save around ₹113 crore on account of air travel costs, thanks to the GST reduction that has been given on Hajj pilgrimage. This will boost air travel and would also largely benefit the private airliners having GST registration.

The GST department has notified the detailed list of how a reduction in GST on Hajj will impact in a decrease of airfare from various embarkation points. These have been given below in tabular form:

S.No.

Embarkation points

Air fare reduction (in ₹)

1.       

Srinagar

11377.07

2.       

Ahmadabad

7305.95

3.       

Aurangabad

9373.68

4.       

Delhi

7967.62

5.       

Gaya

11027.85

6.       

Guwahati

13049.63

7.       

Ranchi

11946.84

8.       

Kolkata

9787.22

9.       

Hyderabad

7204.87


#3. What is so special about Hajj 2019?

  • Discussing the roaring success of previous year’s Hajj, Union Minister for Minority Affairs Sh Naqvi told that it was for the first time after the Independence that a record number of 1,75,025 Indian Muslims had performed Hajj 2018 and that too without any “subsidy”. This included about 48% women.
  • Now, it is for the first time after independence that more than 2,340 Indian Muslim women are being allowed to go on Hajj without Mahram, on the directions of Prime Minister Sh. Narendra Modi. Here, Mahram refers to the male companion of the women.
  • In order to further boost the pilgrimage, Sh Naqvi has told that the Hajj process will be made entirely digital. This will make the entire Hajj process truly transparent and user-friendly.
  • This will also make GST registration compulsory for all service providers since GST registration is mandatory in e-commerce.

These measures truly make Hajj 2019 a joyous ride.

Also read the  .

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