Service tax on gems, jewellery, port services removed

The finance ministry has exempted certain specified service inputs to shipping and port construction from service tax. It has also waived the tax for polishing and finishing services rendered to the gems and jewellery sector.

The ministry has also extended the proposed 67 per cent abatement for levy of service tax on construction-related services to construction of residential complexes. All service inputs to the construction industry would now be taxed at 10 per cent on 33 per cent of the service value and would be subject to the service provider — at whose end the tax is levied — not availing of the input tax credit.

Individuals who receive or consume taxable service abroad would not have to pay any tax, if the receipt / consumption was not in course of or furtherance of commerce or industry. To avail of the tax benefit for export of services, the service provider will have to compulsorily receive the payment in convertible foreign exchange.

According to the finance ministry the exemptions to certain services rendered to the shipping and port construction sectors are aimed at lending "support to infrastructure building".