In what could be a major relief for prospective students, the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB) has been granted exemption from Goods and Services Tax (GST) for all long-duration programs. Only its flagship programs, PGP (Post Graduate Programme) and FPM (Fellow Programme in Management), had earlier been exempted from the tax. The exemption now applies to its three other long-duration programs: Post Graduate Programme in Public Policy and Management (PGPPM), Executive PGP (EPGP) and Post Graduate Programme in Enterprise Management (PGPEM). IIMB, which will now receive a refund of Rs 4.03 crore in taxes it paid for 2018-19, has started refunding students who graduated in the three programs in March 2018. It has so far refunded Rs 3.93 crore to 235 students in tax paid with fees, an IIM-B spokesperson said. The GST on tuition fees for an EPGP student of the Class of 2018-19, for instance, was 18% of Rs 19.6 lakh or Rs 3.5 lakh.
After the implementation of IIM Act, 2017, which came into effect from January 31, 2018, the top-ranking institute had applied to the Authority for Advance Ruling (AAR), Karnataka, seeking clarity on the tax liability of PGPPM, EPGP and PGPEM. When the AAR did not pass a positive ruling, IIM-B again made an appeal to the authority and sent a request to the GST Council to consider their case. The council finally exempted all programs from the tax. “With this, one extra item in the fees has been removed, which is a positive move,” IIMB director G Raghuram said. However, asked if the overall fees for the courses would decrease with the exemption, the director said, “I will not be able to able to comment on that. Various elements make up the total fees. Even if one component is removed, the fees will depend on the other factors. A decision will be taken by the [institute’s] fee-setting committee.