Now, temples in Bihar will have to pay 4 per cent tax
Bihar State Board of Religious Trust has sought a list of unregistered temples from the collectors of all districts.
Bihar State Board of Religious Trust has announced that all temples in the state will have to get themselves registered and pay taxes. The board's decision also covers a temple that an individual has constructed inside his or her house and had thrown it open to all people. The tax rate for temples has been fixed at four per cent.
Besides, the Board has also sought a list of unregistered temples from the collectors of all districts. According to the board, as soon as the information of such temples is received from the districts, the registration work will be started. While there are a large number of big and small temples in Bihar, they were outside the preview of taxation so far. The Board reasoned that when people come to temples to have darshan, they also make some donations. Accordingly, now these temples will have to pay a 4 per cent tax on the donations received.
At the same time, temples constructed inside residential areas where outsiders are allowed to come and worship are also to be considered as public temples. All of them will have to register themselves from now on and also pay tax. Board member Mahant Vijay Shankar Giri was quoted by media reports as saying that all the temples where people go to pray will be considered as public places of worship and hence come under the tax ambit.
Registered temples will also have to give information about the land on which the structure has been built. In this matter, according to media reports, a letter has been written to the District Magistrates on behalf of the Ministry of Law.
A few days ago, Board chairman Akhilesh Jain had claimed that there was a massive shortage of personnel in the BSBRT and that new staffers were not being recruited. Even as he lamented that the Board had not received funds from the state government despite requests, he pointed that there are no details about the assets owned by 90 per cent of the 4600 temples in Bihar.