WB AAR | ‘Phytotherapy’ treatment to cure osteoarthritis and disorders of similar nature not exempted under GST

West Bengal Authority for Advance Ruling (WB AAR): A Division Bench of Susmita Bhattacharya and Parthasarathi Dey (Members), addressed a the following question in the present matter:

Whether providing the treatment called “Phytotherapy” to cure osteoarthritis and disorders of similar nature exempted from Exemption Notification?

Whether it needs to stay registered under the GST Act?

What is ‘Phytotherapy’?

Applicant submits that the protocol of treatment which they follow is called “Phytotherapy”.

Food from rice, wheat have certain chemical compounds to produce the shell of the human body. These chemicals are known as phytochemicals. OPTM stands for “Organic Phyto Therapeutic Method”.

The phytochemicals are oil-based, produced from plants when they mature to give fruits and flowers. Trees preserve these organic chemicals in their seeds too. The applicant has invented these medicines that have been approved by the Drug Control Department under the category of Ayurvedic Medicine. Supplemented by physiotherapy, the medication is used for the treatment of osteoarthritis and disorders of similar nature.

Hence in view of the above, he claims that its composite supply of health care service from a clinical establishment should, therefore, be exempt under Entry No. 74 of the Exemption Notification.

Analysis 

Entry No. 74 (a) of the Exemption Notification exempts inter alia health care services by a clinical establishment from payment of GST.

No clarification on the following

Applicant’s submissions  do not clarify or claim that its plant-based preparations are manufactured exclusively in accordance with the formulae described in any authoritative book of Ayurveda specified in the First Schedule of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940.

It does not claim that the persons administering the plant-based preparations are ‘authorised medical practitioners’ in Ayurveda within the meaning of Para No. 2 (k) of the Exemption Notification.

No clarification has been provided with regard to whether these persons possess the medical qualification included in the Second Schedule of the Indian Medicine Central Council Act, 1970 and registered under the said Act as medical practitioners.

Decision

AAR cannot accept the applicant’s claim that it is a clinical establishment offering treatment in the recognised ayurvedic system of medicine and thus its supplies are not health care service by a clinical establishment as defined under the Exemption notification.

Though it needs to remain registered, as its liability to pay GST does not cease. [OPTM Health Care (P) Ltd., In Re., 2020 SCC OnLine WB AAR-GST 1 , decided on 20-03-2020]

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