The hotels and lodges have to pay a 12 percent tax, if they charge more than Rs 1,000 for a room.

TTD enjoys GST exemption but hotels and lodges in Tirupati hitImage: Tirupati City (Wikimedia Commons/gsnewid)
news GST Sunday, July 02, 2017 - 09:20

A day after the Centre rolled out the Goods and Service Tax (GST), the effect of the move, was felt all over the country, including the temple towns of Tirumala and Tirupati.

The Deccan Chronicle reported that there are more than 350 plus restaurants and over 200 hotels in Tirupati, that cater to pilgrims.

The DC report adds that the lodges were left free of tax earlier, but now have to pay a 12 percent tax, if they charge more than Rs 1,000 for a room. 

This development came, even as other reports suggested that 171 temples, earning an income over Rs 20 lakh in Andhra, have come under the new tax regime. 

Deccan Herald reported that there were 23,834 temples in the state, of which 45 temples came in the 'under Rs 1 crore income' category and 63 temples came in the 'up to Rs 25 crore income' category. 

The Lord Venkateswara temple along with six others, had an annual income above Rs 25 crore.

Last month, following the request of Andhra Pradesh government, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council decided to exempt prasadam and human hair at the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) from tax.

The TTD governs the Lord Venkateswara temple, which is the richest Hindu temple in the world.  

This move came after the TTD requested the Centre to exempt the ingredients that it purchases for making laddus and other prasadams from GST.

TTD had already been granted immunity under VAT by the state government. 

The accounts department of the TTD had earlier estimated that the annual additional burden on the TTD would have been Rs. 70 crore if GST was imposed.

In April this year, the temple reportedly earned Rs 1,038 crore through cash offerings from devotees in 2016-17.

It has approved an annual budget of Rs 2,858 crore for 2017-18.



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