Case Law Details

Case Name : In re Vakao Theme Park LLP (GST AAR Rajasthan)
Appeal Number : Advance Ruling No. RAJ/AAR/2021-22/32
Date of Judgement/Order : 15/12/2021
Related Assessment Year :

In re Vakao Theme Park LLP (GST AAR Rajasthan)

we find that premises claimed by the applicant as ‘museum’ is founded and developed by a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) firm namely M/s Vakao Theme parks LLP which is a business entity. The Main Business Activity of Vakao Theme Park LLP is Recreational, cultural and sporting activities”. Further, as per discussion held with its authorized representative during personal hearing dated 30.11.2021, it emerges that this firm intend to develop amusement parks near sunda mata temple. The creation of Sundha Darshan Museum is one of the way with a motto to increase people foot- fall in order to run these amusement/theme parks. This building is owned by its partners which shows that it is not a non-profit entity. The primary purpose of the said premises is making profit rather than to serve society or public at large. Being a partnership firm, the applicant has a motto to develop the nearby area of Sundha mata temple for earning profit by developing ‘Sunha Darshan Museum’and amusement parks. Mere placing some new idols & sculptures in the said ‘Sunha Darshan Museum’ to exhibit story of sundha mata temple in the name of service to society, does not qualify as ‘museum’ due to its profit earning motto. Further, the said building neither acquires, conserves the heritage of humanity nor having collection of arts, science, and technology, history objects. Hence, we find that premises termed as ‘Sunha Darshan Museum’ is not a ‘museum’. Thus the applicant is not eligible to avail benefits of entry at S. No. 79 of the Notification No. 12/2017-Central Tax (Rate) dated 28.06.2017, in respect of ‘Services by way of admission to a museum’. The services provided/to be provided by the applicant will be classified under item No. (vi) of column No. 3 of S. No. 34(heading 9996) of the Notification No. 11/2017-CT(R) dated 28.06.2017 under “Recreational, Cultural and sporting services other than (i), (ii), (iia), (iii) (iiia), (iv) and (v) above”, and the applicant is liable to pay GST @ 18% (9% CGST+9% SCGST).

FULL TEXT OF THE ORDER OF AUTHORITY FOR ADVANCE RULING, RAJASTHAN 

Note: Under Section 100 of the CGST/RGST Act, 2017, an appeal against this ruling lies before the Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling constituted under section 99 of CGST/RGST Act, 2017, within a period of 30 days from the date of service of this order.

At the outset, we would like to make it clear that the provisions of both the CGST Act and the RGST Act are the same except for certain provisions. Therefore, unless a mention is specifically made to such dissimilar provisions, a reference to the CGST Act would also mean a reference to the same provision under the RGST Act. Further to the earlier, henceforth for the purposes of this Advance Ruling, a reference to such a similar provision under the CGST Act / RGST Act would be mentioned as being under the “GST Act”.

The issue raised by M/s Vakao Theme Park LLP, Sunda Darshan Museum, 1298/938, 940 Sarhad Mouja, Village-Rajpura, (Than Mataji), Tehsil-Jaswantpura, Jalore-343001, Rajasthan- (hereinafter the applicant) is fit to pronounce advance ruling as it falls under the ambit of the Section 97(2) (b)&(e) given as under:-

(b) applicability of a notification issued under the provisions of this Act.

(e) Determination of the liability to pay tax on any goods or services or both.

A. SUBMISSION AND INTERPRETATION OF THE APPLICANT:

1. Brief facts of the case :

> The applicant i.e. M/s Vakao Theme Park LLP is engaged in providing services of theme parks. They intend to construct a museum namely ‘SUNDHA DARSHAN MUSEUM’ near Sunda Mata Temple situated on a hilltop called ‘Sundha’ in village Dantlavas, Tehsil-Raniwada, Distt-Jalore, Rajasthan. This museum is a unit of M/s Vakao Theme Park LLP. In this museum the story of Sundha Mata Temple will be told by various sculpture and idols. This museum will provide service like public museum. Sundha Darshan Museum indirectly linked with to devotion of the visitors towards mata Sundha and it will tell people about the history and culture of sundha mata temple and also sundha and other related god, goddess.

> According to Notification No. 12/2017-Central Tax (Rate) dated 28.06.2017, service related to admission to museum (chapter-9996) is exempt under Goods and Service Tax vide entry-

“services by way of admission to a museum, national park, wildlife sanctuary, tiger reserve or zoo”

> The definition of the museum is as under:

A museum is an institute that cares for a collection of artifacts and other objects of artistic, cultural, historical, or scientific importance. Many public museum make these items available for public viewing through exhibits that may be permanent or temporary.

> According to definition of museum in general, ‘SUNDHA DARSHAN MUSEUM’ covered under definition of museum and services provided by the same shall be exempted under GST. But due to non-availability of definition of museum in CGST Act, 2017, there is a lack of clarity regarding taxability of the services provided by our unit ‘SUNDHA DARSHAN MUSEUM’. Hence, requested to provide clarity on applicability of Notification No. 12/2017-Central Tax (Rate) dated 28.06.2017, and taxability of services provided by the said museum.

B- QUESTIONS ON WHICH THE ADVANCE RULING IS SOUGHT

1. Determination of the liability to pay tax on any services provided by us.

2. Services provided by us shall be exempt under Goods and Service Tax.

3. Applicability of the Notification No. 12/2017-Central Tax (Rate) dated 28.06.2017, on services provided by us.

C. PERSONAL HEARING

In the matter personal hearing was granted to the applicant on 30.11.2021. Shri Jagdish Soni, CA (Authorised Representative) of applicant appeared for PH. During the PH, he reiterated the submissions already made in the written application. He requested for early disposal of the application.

D. COMMENTS OF THE KJRISDICTIONAL OFFICER

Comments received from the Assistant Commissioner, SGST, ward UI, Circle-A, Udaipur vide letter dated 18.10.2021 are as under:-

1. The taxpayer is engaged in services related to SAC:-999699,999693,999629,996,999641.

2. On the basis of above mentioned SAC codes it is deduced that taxpayer is engaged in services related to amusement park/ theme park.

3. The entry ” services by way of admission to a museum, national park, wild life sanctuary, tiger reserve or zoo” is a different service and not related to theme/amusement park. In which the taxpayer is engaged.

4. Hence, the services provided taxpayer and the relevant advance ruling sought can be classified under SAC 999699 which attracts 18% GST (9% CGST+9% SGST).

However, the site is under construction on current date the taxpayer intends to construct a museum and other amusement related recreational facilities.

GST benefit not available to 'Sunha Darshan Museum' run by a business entity

2. FINDINGS ANALYSIS & CONCLUSION:

1. We have gone through the facts of the case and submission made by the applicant at the time of preliminary hearing.

2. From the record submitted, we find that the Applicant i.e. M/s Vakao Theme Park LLP is engaged in providing services of theme parks and intend to construct a building namely ‘SUNDHA DARSHAN MUSEUM’ near Sunda Mata Temple situated near ‘Sundha Mata Temple’ at Sarhad Mouja, Village-Rajpura, (Than Mataji), Tehsil-Jaswantpura, Jalore. The applicant sought clarity whether the Notification No. 12/2017-Central Tax (Rate) dated 28.06.2017, is applicable in respect of said ‘SUNDHA DARSHAN MUSEUM’ or otherwise.

3. Before we delve deep to decide the case, it would be proper in the fitment of justice to discuss the relevant provisions of the statute which are as under-

3.1 EXPLANATORY NOTES FOR SUPPLY OF SERVICES UNDER GST,-

99964 Museum and preservation services

999641 Museum and preservation services of historical sites and buildings

This service code includes :-

i. display services of collections of all kinds (art, science and technology, history)

ii. management and conservation services for such collections

iii. organization of travelling exhibitions for such collections

iv. operation of historical sites, monuments and buildings, including access and visiting services.

v. preservation services for historical sites, monuments and buildings.

3.2 The relevant entry of the Notification No. 12/2017-Central Tax (Rate) dated 28.06.2017, is as under:

S. No. Chapter, Section, Heading, Group or Service Code (Tariff) Description of Services Rate (per cent.) Condition
(1) (2) (3) (4) (5)
79 Heading 9996 Services by way of admission to a museum, national park, wildlife sanctuary, tiger reserve or zoo. NIL NIL

3.3 According to the International Council of Museum (ICOM) Statutes adopted by the 22nd General Assembly in Vienna, Austria, on 24 August 2007, the current definition is as follows:-

“A museum is a non-profit, permanent institution in the service of society and its development, open to the public, which acquires, consents, researches, communicates and exhibits the tangible and intangible heritage of humanity and its environment for the purposes

4. In view of above provisions and fact submitted by the applicant, first we have to decide that said building to which the applicant claiming as ‘Sundha Darshan Museum’ is museum or otherwise so that applicability of Notification No. 12/2017-Central Tax (Rate) dated 28.06.2017, can be determined.

5. For this we have relied upon the definition of museum given by the International Council of Museum (ICOM). Moreover, in our view the museum means a non-profit organisation that stores objects of both natural and cultural heritage, cares and provides necessary conservation supports required to objects in both display and storage and exhibits objects for the knowledge of common people.

6. With regard to meaning of Non-Profit Organisation, we are of the view that a non-profit organisation, as the name suggest is a legal organisation whose primary purpose is to promote public good rather than making profit. These are founded by a group of people who come together for a common purpose, i.e. to provide service to members and people. They are aimed at endorsing asocial cause or supporting a particular outlook. These include the sports club, public hospitals, religious institutions, cooperative societies, literacy society, etc. Non-profit organisations also make the profit, but the profit earned by itis used for furthering the aim of the concern. They raise funds from subscriptions, donation, government grant, membership fee, entrance fee, legacies, and charity and so on. The nonprofit entities are not owned by any person, not even by the founders.

In view of fact of the case and above discussion, we find that premises claimed by the applicant as ‘museum’ is founded and developed by a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) firm namely M/s Vakao Theme parks LLP which is a business entity. The Main Business Activity of Vakao Theme Park LLP is Recreational, cultural and sporting activities”. Further, as per discussion held with its authorized representative during personal hearing dated 30.11.2021, it emerges that this firm intend to develop amusement parks near sunda mata temple. The creation of Sundha Darshan Museum is one of the way with a motto to increase people foot- fall in order to run these amusement/theme parks. This building is owned by its partners which shows that it is not a non-profit entity. The primary purpose of the said premises is making profit rather than to serve society or public at large. Being a partnership firm, the applicant has a motto to develop the nearby area of Sundha mata temple for earning profit by developing ‘Sunha Darshan Museum’and amusement parks. Mere placing some new idols & sculptures in the said ‘Sunha Darshan Museum’ to exhibit story of sundha mata temple in the name of service to society, does not qualify as ‘museum’ due to its profit earning motto. Further, the said building neither acquires, conserves the heritage of humanity nor having collection of arts, science, and technology, history objects. Hence, we find that premises termed as ‘Sunha Darshan Museum’ is not a ‘museum’. Thus the applicant is not eligible to avail benefits of entry at S. No. 79 of the Notification No. 12/2017-Central Tax (Rate) dated 28.06.2017, in respect of ‘Services by way of admission to a museum’. The services provided/to be provided by the applicant will be classified under item No. (vi) of column No. 3 of S. No. 34(heading 9996) of the Notification No. 11/2017-CT(R) dated 28.06.2017 under “Recreational, Cultural and sporting services other than (i), (ii), (iia), (iii) (iiia), (iv) and (v) above”, and the applicant is liable to pay GST @ 18% (9% CGST+9% SCGST).

7. In view of the foregoing, we rule as follows: –

RULING

The premises termed as ‘Sunha Darshan Museum’ is not a ‘Museum’. Thus, entry at S. No. 79 of the Notification No. 12/2017-Central Tax (Rate) dated 28.06.2017, is not applicable to the applicant. The services provided/to be provided by the applicant is classified under item No. (vi) of column No. 3 of S. No. 34(heading 9996) of the Notification No. 11/2017-CT(R) dated 28.06.2017 under “Recreational, Cultural and sporting services other than (i), (ii), (iia), (iii) (iiia), (iv) and (v) above”, and the applicant is liable to pay GST @ 18% (9% CGST+9% SCGST).

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