In this context, an Educational institution is defined as an institution imparting:
- pre-school education and education up to higher secondary school or equivalent
- education as a part of a curriculum for obtaining a qualification recognised by any law for the time being in force
- education as a part of an approved vocational education course
Hence, services of lodging and boarding in hostels provided by an educational institution which are providing pre-school education and education up to higher secondary school or equivalent or education leading to a qualification recognised by law, are fully exempt from GST. The annual boarding or accommodation fee charges by such educational institutions for hostel accommodation will not attract GST.
Earlier the government had also refuted claims that education was going to get costlier in the GST era. Schooling up to higher secondary and most of the services provided to educational institutions are exempt from taxation. An official statement by the Finance Ministry had said that mid-day meal scheme as well as security, cleaning and housekeeping services performed in educational institutions up to higher secondary were also exempt from GST.