Doctors Demand GST Exemption on DNB Fees
New Delhi: Questioning the inclusion of GST charges in the annual course fees of DNB candidates, the Federation of Resident Doctors Association (FORDA), along with the Association of DNB Doctors have recently written to the National Board of Examinations (NBE).
in the letter, the doctors have questioned how NBE is still charging GST when the Department of Revenue, operative under Union Ministry of Finance via a circular dated 17.06.2021, had clarified that Central and State Education Boards, such as the NBE, are treated as educational institutions for the purpose of providing services in the form of conducting examinations and thus exempted fees charged by them from GST.
Medical Dialogues had also reported that the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) had previously clarified that fees paid to the various education boards including the National Board of Examinations (NBE) would not be subject to goods and services tax (GST) anymore.
This no GST policy, however, would be applicable only for the purpose of conducting entrance examination or admission process. CBIC has clarified that 18% GST would be applicable for services provided by these boards such as granting accreditation to an institution or to a professional.
However, as per doctors, NBE has recently notified the DNB candidates via email that in order to be permitted to appear in the Final Examination, the candidates need to deposit the annual course fee of Rs 1,47,500 (including 18% GST) to NBEMS account within 05.08.2021. Failing to submit the fees within the deadline might lead to the cancellation of the candidature of the NBEMS trainee, NBE has mentioned in the mail (a copy of which is with Medical Dialogues).
Challenging the demand by NBE, FORDA has recently written to the concerned NBE authorities on August 2, 2021. "The inclusion of GST amplifies the course fee manifolds, non-submission of which might even lead to cancellation of candidature. This is an extremely unfortunate and unlawful situation whereby students are being exploited by the NBE, to deposit exorbitant fees," mentioned the letter by FORDA.
"This is pertinent to mention that the Tuition or Education of the DNB students is provided by the Accredited institutes not National Board of Examinations per se. NBE was not even collecting Tuition fees from the students before 2021. Hence in 39 years of running of the DNB courses, NBE is collecting tuition fees for the first time, that too, to be transferred back to the institutes delivering the education to the students. Hence NBE has no real business in collecting tuition fees and GST charges from the students," mentioned the letter by Association of DNB Doctors.
Speaking to Medical Dialogues regarding the issue, Dr. Kulsaurabh Kaushik, the National Secretary of FORDA said, "We studied the notices of the Revenue Department thoroughly and it was not mentioned anywhere that NBE should charge GST even on academic fees. So, it is not clear why NBE has asked the DNB students only 5 days before the exam to submit the fees along with GST charges."
"Besides, this results in immense stress in the DNB candidates who are about to write their exams within a few days," he added.
Mentioning that FORDA has also approached the Union Tax Department as well, Dr. Kulsaurabh added, "All we are asking is that NBE should either exempt GST charges on academic fees or they should come up with an explanation regarding the matter. We are looking forward to a positive response from NBE soon regarding the matter."