13.10.2023: Gangajal, puja samagri exempt under Goods and Services Tax: CBIC

Ahead of the festive season, the Finance Ministry's revenue department on October 12 clarified that gangajal (water from the holy Ganga river) and puja samagri (items) remain exempt under the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

The need for clarification on applicability of GST on gangajal was felt due to certain media reports, Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) said in a tweet.

“Gangajal used in puja 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 in 2017 and decided to keep them in the exempt list. Therefore, all these items have been exempt since the introduction of GST,” it said.

The Council had exempted goods such as kajal, kumkum, bindis, sindoor, alta, plastic and glass bangles, puja samagri of all kinds, from the purview of taxation under GST.

The government's GST collections climbed 10.2 percent year-on-year in September to Rs 1.63 lakh crore, 2.3 percent higher than what was collected in August.

This was the seventh month in a row that the monthly GST collection came in above the Rs 1.5-lakh-crore mark.

The latest GST data took the average monthly collection in 2023-24 to Rs 1.65 lakh crore.

Monthly GST collections have risen over the years. From averaging under Rs 1 lakh crore per month in 2017-18 – its first year – collections rose rapidly after the pandemic-hit 20202-21 to average Rs 1.51 lakh crore in 2022-23.

While the finance ministry noted that the average monthly gross GST collection in the first six months of 2023-24 is 11 percent higher than in the first half of 2022-23, the average monthly mop-up so far this year is only 9 percent higher than the average monthly collections for the whole of 2022-23.

As per the 2023-24 Budget, the Centre expects its GST collections to rise by 12 percent in the current financial year.

In September, Central GST was Rs 29,818 crore, State GST was Rs 37,657 crore, Integrated GST was Rs 83,623 crore, and compensation cess was Rs 11,613 crore.

Source: Money Control

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