From November 15 brace yourself to pay Swachh Bharat cess of 0.5 per cent. The government on Friday decided to impose the tax on all services that attract service tax. This will have a direct impact on the amount of money you spent on air tickets, dining out, watching movies and even your telephone among other expenditures. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his first fiscal Budget had announced a Swachh Bharat cess on services to fund the government's cleanliness drive.
"Swachh Bharat Cess is not another tax but a step towards involving each and every citizen in making contribution to Swachh Bharat," the Finance Ministry said in a statement. Currently 14 per cent service tax, which was increased from 12 per cent to 14 per cent this June, is levied on all services.
Swachch Bharat is an initiative of the Narendra Modi government officially started on 2 October i.e Mahatma Gandhi's birthday last year. The campaign entails making sanitation a priority of public life. The Prime Minister himself came down to the streets with broom in his hand accompanied by other ministers and government employees to encourage citizen to make cleanliness a daily practice and a personal goal.