Patanjali’s argument in cowdung case fails to ‘moo’ AAR – The Hindu BusinessLine

lipped from:

GST of 5 per cent would apply on the company’s ‘Gomaya Samidha’ product, rules the authority

Holy Cow! Talk of taxing issues. Is cowdung sold in a container a Hawan Samagri (product used in a pooja) and, if so, what rate of GST would apply on it?

Uttarakhand AAR disposed of the matter by classifying the product under the category “All goods, i.e. animal or vegetable fertilisers or organic fertilisers put in unit containers and bearing a brand name,” which attract GST at the rate of 5 per cent.

Patanjali had moved the authority for advance ruling on the correct classification for ‘Gomaya Samidha’, arguing that the sticks had 95 per cent cowdung and 5 per cent herbs. Patanjali had developed it in its Research and Development Lab for use in yajnas, and sought exemption from GST. After going through the facts presented, AAR said that based on the submissions made by the applicant, it understood that the characteristics of cowdung had been changed as herbs had been added to it.

However, it also observed that in the package nowhere was it written that it was Hawan Samagri even though there was picture of two priests performing hawan.

Organic manure

AAR classified the product as organic manure covered under chapter 3101. It said that if organic manure is put in a container and bears a registered brand name, then it will not be eligible for exemption.

Though exemption is available for ‘Firewood or Fuel wood’ but there are conditions – the product must originate from wood. Every fuel stick that caught fire cannot be classified as firewood. “Cowdung will always remain cowdung irrespective of the form it is supplied in. ‘Firewood or Fuel wood’ does not mean any product that has burning qualities,”AAR said.

In the past some of the quirky cases that have landed up at the advance ruling body’s desk are deciding whether a soft serve ice-cream cone can be equated to an ice-cream and the category of fried vegetable products.

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