The free food supplied by religious institutions does not attract any Goods and Services Tax but the inputs required to make it, including sugar, vegetable oil and ghee are subject to GST, the government said on Tuesday.
“There are media reports suggesting that GST applies on free food supplied in ‘anna kshetras’ run by religious institutions. This is completely untrue. No GST is applicable on such food supplied free,” the Finance Ministry said here in a statement.
“Further, prasadam supplied by religious places like temples, mosques, churches, gurudwaras and dargahs attracts nil Central GST and State GST or Integrated GST, as the case may be,” it said.
However, some of the inputs and input services required for making ‘prasadam’ would be subject to GST, it noted, saying these include sugar, vegetable edible oils, ghee, butter and service for transportation of these goods.
“Most of these inputs or input services have multiple uses. Under GST regime, it is difficult to prescribe a separate rate of tax for sugar when supplied for a particular purpose,” it said.
“Further, GST being a multi-stage tax, end use based exemptions or concessions are difficult to administer. Therefore, GST does not envisage end use based exemptions. It would, therefore, not be desirable to provide end use based exemption for inputs or input services for making prasadam or food for free distribution by religious institutions,” it added.