Pilgrims to pay GST for hiring TTD cottages
All fears and apprehensions about the impact of GST on TTD became true. Now everything is official and burden is inevitable. Undoubtedly the GST will hit the pilgrims who are desirous of taking a room at Tirumala the abode of Lord Venkateswara at a cost of Rs.1000 and above.
Tirupati: All fears and apprehensions about the impact of GST on TTD became true. Now everything is official and burden is inevitable. Undoubtedly the GST will hit the pilgrims who are desirous of taking a room at Tirumala the abode of Lord Venkateswara at a cost of Rs.1000 and above.
It was evident on Sunday as the TTD revised the rates of various types of accommodation duly including GST in the rental being collected for a day (24 hours basis.) in its cottages and guest houses.
According to TTD official sources, in all the GST made its impact on above Rs.1000 cottages which attracts 12 percent of GST. Accordingly, the minimum burden would be Rs.200 on the cottages ranging between Rs.1000 to Rs.2500. The cottages having the rent of above Rs.2500 will attract 18 per cent GST. The burden thereof would be a minimum of Rs.500 to a maximum of Rs.1100.
The maximum rent of the cottages of TTD is Rs.6000 which will now cost Rs.7100 including GST.TTD made it clear that the changed rates would come into force from July 10. TTD is saying that there would be no burden on the common man since they take the rooms below Rs.1000 only. There was no tax on TTD cottages till now.
Though the Commercial taxes department and the central excise department which are now called as State GST and Central GST departments have served notices in the past to pay the taxes, TTD approached Tribunal and Apex court to settle the issue.
Their argument was that it gives the cottages under no profit basis. They have even changed the name of some of their guest houses as rest houses and arguing that they were meant only for taking rest by VVIPs. It may be noted that TTD is having around 9000 cottages/guest houses not only in Tirupati and Tirumala but at other places like Chennai and Bengaluru.
The rents range from Rs.50 to Rs.6000 per day. The Devasthanam is fetching a revenue of around Rs.125 crore annually from the rents. They were getting another Rs.124 crore through the sale of laddus for which it was made clear that no GST would be levied on that.
But the pilgrims who buy gold dollars, take accommodation, book TTD Kalyana mandapams will have no escape from paying the GST. Though the TTD and the state government have requested the central Government and the GST council to give exemption from the GST as the pilgrims have to pay the brunt, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley made it clear no such exemption would be given to any institution.
By V Pradeep Kumar