Dr. Sanjiv Agarwal
Notification No 25/2012-ST dated 20.6.2012 provides exemptions to transport related services as discussed in following paras
Hiring of Transport Vehicles
Following services in relation to hiring of transport of vehicles is exempt from levy of Service Tax –
Services by way of giving on hire –
(a) to a State transport undertaking, a motor vehicle meant to carry more than twelve passengers; or
(b) to a goods transport agency, a means of transportation of goods;
Exemption shall be available subject to following two conditions –
(a) hiring to a State transport undertaking or to a goods transport agency
(b) hiring of motor vehicle to carry more than 12 passengers or in case of GTA, for transportation of goods.
In both the cases, vehicle should be given on hire.
“State transport undertaking” has the meaning assigned to it in clause (42) of Section 2 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. According to Section 2(42) of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 State transport undertaking means any undertaking providing road transport service, where such undertaking is carried on by –
(i) the Central Government or a State Government;
(ii) any Road Transport Corporation established under section 3 of the Road Transport Corporations Act, 1950 (64 of 1950);
(iii) any municipality or any corporation or company owned or controlled by the Central Government or one or more State Governments, or by the Central Government and one or more State Governments.
“Goods carriage” has the meaning assigned to it in clause (14) of section 2 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. According to section 2(14) of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, Goods carriage means any motor vehicle constructed or adapted for use solely for the carriage of goods, or any motor vehicle not so constructed or adapted when used for the carriage of goods;
Goods Transport agency has been defined in section 65(B) to mean any person who provides service in relation to transport of goods by road and issues consignment note.
Transport of Passengers
Following type of transport of passengers shall be exempt from Service Tax –
Transport of passengers, with or without accompanied belongings, by –
(a) air, embarking from or terminating in an airport located in the state of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, or Tripura or at Bagdogra located in West Bengal;
(b) a contract carriage for the transportation of passengers, excluding tourism, conducted tour, charter or hire; or
(c) ropeway, cable car or aerial tramway;
Contact carriage is defined in section 2(7) of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. Accordingly,
“Contract carriage means a motor vehicle which carries a passenger or passengers for hire or reward and is engaged under a contract, whether expressed or implied, for the use of such vehicle as a whole for the carriage of passengers mentioned therein and entered into by a person with a holder of a permit in relation to such vehicle or any person authorized by him in this behalf on a fixed or an agreed rate or sum —
(a) on a time basis, whether or not with reference to any route or distance; or
(b) from one point to another, and in either case, without stopping to pick up or set down passengers not included in the contract anywhere during the journey, and includes —
(i) a maxicab; and
(ii) a motor cab notwithstanding that separate fares are charged for its passengers”.
The ingredients of a contract carriage are as follows :—
In cases where a bus operates on a route under a contract carriage and passengers embark or disembark from the bus at any place falling on the route and pay separate fares for the whole or for stages of journey, no Service Tax would be payable. However, transport of passenger in a contract carriage for the transportation of passengers for tourism, conducted tour, charter or hire is taxable.