GST Exemptions on Supplies to Food and Agricultural Organizations (FAO)

The Food & Agriculture Organization, in short, FAO, of the United Nations (UN) is an agency, specially empowered to deal with the world problem of hunger. Efforts of this organization are directed individually and collectively for creation, discussion and for spreading awareness of policies and guidelines etc.required to eradicate hunger, insecurity, and malnutrition worldwide.


The members of FAO are different countries including India. Recently, in contribution to the supportive policies of FAO, the Department of Revenue, Government of India issued vide Notification no. 19/2019- Central Tax (Rate) dt. September 30th, 2019, where several goods were exempted from the GST levy with effect from 1st October 2019. The newly proposed provisions also took a GST exemption on to the suppliers of crops, food stocks, fisheries, and other foods items which were made fully exempted if supplied to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations as required by it for the fulfillment of their social projects.


In this post, you will get to know in brief the exemptions allowed and the conditions placed by the GST department for availing of such exemption.


About FAO 


FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) of the United Nations is an agency of the United Nations which strive to defeat hitches promoting hunger in the society. Out of other auxiliary subjects, the organization visions to eliminate social dilemmas like hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition.




FAO works across countries solving critical issues at national, regional and multilateral levels. It monitors the work progress of its projects through divided departments :


  • Agriculture and Consumer Protection Department
  • Climate, Biodiversity, Land and Water Department
  • Corporate Services Department
  • Economic and Social Development Department
  • Fisheries and Aquaculture Department
  • Forestry Department
  • Technical Cooperation and Programme Management Department.


GST Exemption for Supply to FAO


 With effect from 1st October 2019, suppliers those making supplies to FAO and assisting them in completion of their social projects including:


  1. Strengthening Capacities for Nutrition-Sensitive Agriculture and Food Systems
  2. Green Ag: Transforming Indian Agriculture for Global Environment benefits and the conservation of Critical Biodiversity and Forest Landscape


Shall be allowed a complete exemption from Central Tax as levied under Section 9 of the Act. Subjecting to the condition that such supplies shall have to undergo an approval process of an officer not below the rank of a Deputy Secretary to the Government in the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.


In order to grant an exemption, the officer is expected to certify :

-The number of goods and descriptions of goods being supplied to be matching the quantity applied for exemption.

– The said supplies to be used only in the execution of the above projects only.


Project Overview 


The brief about the social projects are as follows:


1)   Strengthening Capacities for Nutrition-Sensitive Agriculture and Food Systems


Nutrition-Sensitive Agriculture and Food Systems is an approach of FAO to ensure production or variety of affordable, nutritious, culturally appropriate and safe foods kept in quantity and quality to meet the dietary requirements of people in a sustainable manner. It strives to improve the health of the people, ensure income generation for the facilitation of more health services and reduction of water contamination through the use of labor-saving technologies.


2)   Green Ag: Transforming Indian Agriculture for Global Environment benefits and the conservation of Critical Biodiversity and Forest Landscape.


The project aims to bring a transformative change in the Indian agricultural sector to ensure the conservation of critical biodiversity and forest landscapes.


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