All services will not attract Swachh Bharat cess

The Swachh Bharat cess will be levied on select services at the rate of up to 2 per cent, depending upon the need for funds to take forward the Prime Minister’s national cleanliness drive.

This was explained to a group of tax experts by Finance Ministry officials during a post-budget meeting.

The group was told that the cess may be 0.5% or 1% or even 2% depending upon the requirement.

“However, the cess will be imposed on select services,” said a source without elaborating.

Amit Maheshwari, Partner, Ashok Maheshwary and Associates said: “We are happy that it will not imposed on all services and would be a need based cess. This will not have a significant bearing on price situation”.

In his Budget speech, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had proposed an enabling provision to levy the cess at a rate of 2 per cent or less on all or certain services if need arises.

This cess will be effective from the date to be notified.

Resources generated from this cess will be utilised for financing and promoting initiatives towards Swach Bharat.

Jaitley has also proposed that the service tax rate would be increased from 12 per cent plus education cess to 14 per cent.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on August 15, 2014 given a call to achieve the objective of clean India by the year 2019, the 150th year of the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, through the Swach Bharat Mission.

The Budget proposed 100 per cent deduction for the contributions, other than by way of CSR spending, to the Swach Bharat Kosh.

On Wednesday, the Cabinet approved enabling provisions for Swach Bharatkosh to enable people living in India and abroad and companies give funds for the clean Indian mission.

Using the donations, the fund will finance activities such as construction of new toilets as well as repair and renovation of dysfunctional toilets in rural areas, urban areas, elementary, secondary and senior secondary government schools and anganwadis.

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