Recently the Regulatory Body of Indirect Taxes i.e. the Central Board of Indirect Taxes (CBIC), has issued a CBEC Notification No. 12/2017-Central Tax Rate dated 28.6.2017, exempting ‘health care services’ rendered at clinical establishments by authorized medical professionals or paramedics, from the applicability of GST, vide entry no. 74, in the said notification.
As per clause 2(zg), “health care services” means any service by way of diagnosis or treatment or care for illness, injury, deformity, abnormality or pregnancy in any recognised system of medicines in India.
Following Systems of Medicine are recognized in India:
Yoga, Naturopathy, Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Homeopathy systems of medicine, just like Allopathy, are also duly recognized systems of medicine in India, and as such shall fall in the category of “Health Care Services” so as to qualify for exemption from GST, at par with Allopathy based medical treatments.
It is worthwhile to mention here that by virtue of entry no. 77 of CBEC Notification No. 12/2017-Central Tax Rate, and CBEC Circular No. 32/06/2018-GST, bearing F.No. 354/17/2018-TRU, dated 16.2.2018, the accommodation charges/room rent, retention money, food charges and fees payments being charged from in-patients, by medical institutes/clinical establishments/hospitals, providing health care services as defined under clause 2(zg) of notification No. 12/2017- CT(Rate), have been categorically exempted from the levy of GST.
Naturopathy, Ayurveda & Yoga systems of medicine involve a wholesome therapeutic treatment involving lifestyle changes. Most naturopathy, ayurveda & yoga treatments require accommodation on the part of the patient ranging from 3 days to 3 months, depending on illness and its severity, and as such residential courses are a common feature of such naturopathy, ayurveda & yoga based medical treatments.
As the main purpose and objective of provision of such accommodation facilities to the patients availing the naturopathy, ayurveda & yoga based treatments, rendered by the establishments/institutions/charitable organisations/naturopathy centers, is the medical treatment and accommodation is just an incidental requirement of such treatment, therefore, the entire package of such medical treatments, along with the provision of food and accommodation to the in-patients, shall be considered as composite supply within the meaning of section 2(30) of GST Act, with the exempt services portion i.e. naturopathy/ayurveda/yoga services, as the principal supply & the provision of food and accommodation to the in-patients, as the incidental/secondary supply, and as such the entire package of services shall be considered as outside the purview of the levy of GST, in conformity with the above mentioned entry no. 77 of CBEC Notification No. 12/2017-Central Tax Rate, and CBEC Circular No. 32/06/2018-GST, bearing F.No. 354/17/2018-TRU, dated 16.2.2018.
Conclusion: To sum up, naturopathy, yoga, ayurveda, siddha, unani and homeopathy based systems of medicine, are equally effective, responsive, natural, and wholesome systems of medicine, and are duly recognised systems of medicine in our country, at par with allopathy based system of medicine. Therefore, medical establishments/ institutions/charitable organisations/naturopathy centers, providing medical treatments through such duly recognized systems of medicine, through qualified and approved practitioners, shall be treated at par with the hospitals/medical institutes/clinical establishments providing allopathy based medical treatments and similar exemption of healthcare services and the incidental accommodation and fooding charges from the levy of GST, as available to such hospitals/medical institutes/clinical establishments, shall also be made available to the medical establishments/institutions/charitable organisations/naturopathy centers, providing naturopathy, yoga, ayurveda, siddha, unani and homeopathy based medical treatments.
Promotion and development of “Yoga” and “Ayurveda” has been in the forefront priority and focus area of our Government in Centre under our Prime Minister Sh. Narendra Modi ji. Our Government has been successful in making the United Nations declare 21 June as International Yoga Day. Therefore, in line with the Legislative intent and the Government’s commitment to bring Yoga, Ayurveda and Naturopathy based treatments at the forefront, it is desirable that the competent authorities and the GST Council, should take due cognizance of the above write-up and shall issue appropriate notification in this regards.