In exercise of the powers conferred by Section 93(1) of the Finance Act, 1994, the CBEC vide its Notification No. 17/2014-ST dated August 20, 2014 has amended the Mega Exemption Notification No. 25/2012- ST dated June 20, 2012 (“the Mega Exemption Notification”) by inserting a new Entry No. 5A after Entry No. 5 which reads as under:

“5A. Services by a specified organisation in respect of a religious pilgrimage facilitated by the Ministry of External Affairs of the Government of India, under bilateral arrangement͖”

Further, in Paragraph 2 of the Mega Exemption Notification providing definitions of various terms used therein, after clause (zf), the following clause has been inserted, namely:-

“(zfa) “specified organisation” shall mean,-

(a) Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam Limited, a Government of Uttarakhand Undertaking; or

(b) ‘Committee’ or ‘State Committee’ as defined in section 2 of the Haj Committee Act, 2002 (35 of 2002)”

Thus, consequent to said amendment in the Mega Exemption Notification, only the services provided by Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam Limited and Haj Committee in respect of religious pilgrimage facilitated by the Ministry of External Affairs of the Government of India under bilateral agreement will be exempted from Service tax w.e.f 20th August, 2014.

(Bimal Jain, FCA, FCS, LLB, B.Com (Hons), Mobile: +91 9810604563, Email: bimaljain@hotmail.com)

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