Interim Budget: Service tax relief for storage and handling of rice, cord blood banks

17 February 2014

Finance minister P Chidambaram has proposed to exempt loading, unloading, packing, storage and warehousing of rice from service tax.

Presenting the interim budget 2014-15 in Parliament today he said that by virtue of the definition of 'agricultural produce' in Finance Act, 2012, read with the service tax negative list, storage or warehousing of paddy was excluded from the levy of service tax; but rice was not.

As this distinction was somewhat artificial, the same has been done away with and now rice has also been exempted, he said.

Chidambaram said that he has acceded to the request of the ministry of health and family welfare that since services provided by cord blood banks are also health care services, they should also be exempt from service tax.

Notifications in respect of the above changes will be issued today itself, he said.

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