Notice sent to Ramdev for alleged service tax evasion

A demand notice has been sent by authorities to trusts run by Ramdev for alleged service tax evasion on about Rs one crore received from a private TV broadcaster for airing his programme on Yoga.

Official sources said a demand notice was sent to Patanjali Yoga Peeth and Divya Yoga Trust in Haridwar seeking details of Rs 96 lakh received by them from the broadcaster and raising demand for payment of service tax on the amount.

The Revenue Department officials, who earlier raised a demand of over Rs five crore alleged service tax evasion from Ramdev in conducting Yoga Shivirs, found that the trusts had entered into a contract to telecast Ramdev's programme on yogic exercises.

The programme was aired during 2009-10 and payments of Rs eight lakh per month ( Rs 96 lakh for a year) were given to Ramdev trusts towards broadcasting rights fee and no service tax was paid on it, the sources said.

"The notice has been sent by Directorate General of Central Excise Intelligence for alleged tax evasion on Rs 96 lakh. The demand has been raised for assessment year 2009-10," they said.

When contacted, a spokesperson for Ramdev claimed the trusts and its activities are exempted from service tax net as they are doing charitable activities for medical relief.
"Trusts' activities are barred from service tax as it is for the purpose for providing medical relief to poor. We will contest the notices sent to us in front of appropriate authorities," he said.

Sources said that Ramdev trusts have entered into a contract with the broadcaster for airing Yoga programme (of half an hour duration) daily on its channel for three years.
"However, it was later cancelled and the programme was shown on air for an year," the official said, adding that the notices were issued recently.

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