Labour services provided to Forest Department for environment Protection are exempt from GST

Categories: Advance Ruling
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Facts:

Mr. Puthoor Unnikrishan (“the applicant”) is providing various labour services directly to Kerala Forest Department, under his supervision and control. The applicant is providing labour services for setting up fire lines in forests to protect the forest from catching fire, plantation of trees in forests, river maintenance and for clearing the truck path in forests. All these services are pure labour work and do not include any kind of goods or materials.

Issues Involved:

  1. Whether the supply of providing labour services in forests is included in exempted services in Notification No. 12/2017 Central Tax (Rate) (“Exemption Notification”) dated June 28, 2017, or any other related notification?
  2. What is the rate of GST applicable on supply of such labour services, if it is not covered under exempted service notification?

Observations and Findings:

The applicant was heard, and it was stated that the applicant is engaged in providing various labour services directly to Kerala Forest Department, under his supervision and control. It was further observed that “Pure Services” mean the supply of services without involving any supply of goods. As per Exemption Notification vide S.No. 3, pure services provided to Central Government, State Government or Union territory or local authority or a Governmental authority or a Government entity by way of any activity in relation to any function entrusted to Panchayat under Article 243G of the constitution or in relation to any function entrusted to Municipality under Article 243W of constitution is exempted.

Held:

The Hon’ble Authority for Advance Ruling, Kerala vide Advance Ruling No. KER/27/2019 dated May 24, 2019 held that the supply of providing labour services for setting up fire lines, plantation of trees in forest, river maintenance in forest, clearing of truck path in forest are pure services that are clearly falling within the purview of term “Protection of Environment ‘Road’/ ‘Fire Services’” as covered in 12th Schedule under Article 243W of the Constitution. Therefore, these services are exempted as per Serial No. 3 of the Exemption Notification.

Citation:  [2019] 106 taxmann.com 236 (AAR – KERALA)