Highlights

No new tax imposed on Garba, says Gujarat Education Minister
According to the education minister, it was taxed even before GST.
This is the tax on tickets above Rs 500

Ahmedabad. There is a ruckus in Gujarat over the entry fee of Garba dance. Opposition parties have demanded immediate removal of GST on this. However, 18% Goods and Services Tax (GST) is levied on entry passes for commercial Garba events in big cities. In fact, commercial Garba events are organized in major cities of Gujarat as part of the nine-day Navratri festival. Gujarat Education Minister and state government spokesperson Jitu Vaghani hit back on the protest by the opposition parties, saying that GST is applicable from 2017 on entry passes of any cultural program including commercial Garba events. Vaghani said it was approved by everyone, including the Congress-ruled states.

The issue of GST on entry passes came to the fore when United Way of Baroda, a Vadodara-based NGO recently mentioned the applicable GST rates on its website. According to the website, the nine-day pass for men will be priced at Rs 4,838, which includes an entry fee of Rs 4,100 and 18 per cent GST equivalent to Rs 738, while the pass for women will cost Rs 1,298, which includes an entry fee of Rs 1,100 and Rs. 198 equal to Rs.198 includes 18 percent.

State Education Minister’s counterattack
On Tuesday and Wednesday, Congress and AAP have protested in Vadodara, Surat and Valsad demanding the withdrawal of GST on this matter. Gujarat AAP President Gopal Italia wrote a letter to Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel demanding withdrawal of GST on Garba events. Responding to this, Education Minister Vaghani said that tax is applicable on such events since 2017. Vaghani said, the opposition is only interested in instigating the people. This protest is politically motivated as there is GST on various types of cultural events from the year 2017. The Center had issued a notification in this regard in the year 2017 and every state had agreed to such a tax.

this is the real reality
According to the notification, no changes have been made in the GST related to Garba or such events. No new GST has been imposed. In the pre-GST period, a service tax of 15 per cent was levied on entry if the amount charged for admission to such events exceeds Rs 500 per person. In addition, there were embedded taxes as the credit of VAT paid on goods used for such events was not available for payment of service tax. GST at the rate of 18 per cent is payable only if the entry ticket for any Garba or such event exceeds Rs.500. (Notification No. 12/2017-CT(R) dated 28.06.2017, Serial No. 81 enclosed). Thus, the tax under the GST regime has remained the same as the pre-GST regime.

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