Loading, Unloading, Packing, Storage and Warehousing of Rice also Exempted from Service Tax; Cord Blood Banks also Get the Same Relief

Finance Minister, P. Chidambaram has proposed to exempt loading, unloading, packing, storage and warehousing of rice from service tax. Stating this while presenting the Interim Budget 2014-15 in Parliament on 17 February he said that by virtue of the definition of ‘agricultural produce’ in Finance Act, 2012, read with the 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.

P. Chidambaram said that he has acceded to the request of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare that services provided by Cord Blood Banks are also health care services and hence they should also be exempt from service tax.

Notifications in respect of the above changes will be issued on 17 February itself.