Hyderabad: Haj pilgrims will be able to save Rs 7,000 this year after reduction in GST for their air travel by non-scheduled/charter operations. This is being facilitated by the government under bilateral arrangements.
The government has reduced GST on 23 goods and services, including air travel by pilgrims, from January 1. Earlier, pilgrims who performed Haj through the Haj Committee of India had to pay 18 per cent GST on airfare. They will now be charged only 5 per cent.
The Telangana State Haj Committee chairman Mr Masihullah Khan said, last year, air fare was initially fixed at Rs 50,960, with GST charges of Rs 9,173. “But later, they informed us that the charges were enhanced because of depreciation in the rupee’s value and fixed it at Rs 55,422 as airfare and Rs 9,976 as GST,” Mr Khan said. “Though airfare for the current year was not fixed, it will be around Rs 55,000 this year. If the GST will be only 5 per cent on air travel, then our pilgrims can save around Rs 7,000 this time in travel charges compared to last year.”
Habeeb Abdul Quader of Bismillah Travels said GST rate for pilgrims travelling through private tour operators was 5 per cent, similar to economy class, “unlike 12 per cent for those who travel through Haj Committee of India.”