The Telangana State Waqf Board has received a letter from the office of the Principal Commissioner of GST, asking it to pay 12.5% tax on rentals it has received from properties in its custody. With no full-time chief executive officer or a chairman at its helm, the waqf board is now exploring options on dealing with the situation.
As per the first waqf survey, there are 33,929 waqf institutions in the State. A large number of these have properties such as shops and commercial establishments which are given on lease to generate revenue for the institution. Sources from the TSWB said the letter from GST authorities has sought tax from commercial establishments which pay rents of more than ₹30,000. They also said that the letter, which the board received on Monday, was not the first. “We have tried to explain to them that institutions are religious in nature. They are meant for charitable purpose, and will seek an exemption. We are trying to explain this point, but it appears more convincing is required,” a source said.
Mr Waheed confirmed receipt of the letter. “I am writing to Principal Commissioner, Central GST and Central Excise. We have been in correspondence for some time. I am requesting for more time to examine the situation. We will have to see how may commercial properties come under the ₹30,000-slab,” he said. Sources said similar letters were sent to other waqf boards. According to a senior official in the Delhi Wakf Board, a notice was received around five months ago asking Muslim endowments panel to pay GST on rents. “We have brought this to the attention of the Central Waqf Council in the last meeting. We have told GST officials that all of the revenue is for charitable, pious purposes. But it appears that they are not willing to listen,” the senior official said.