June 1, 2018

In a massive relief to Gurdwaras, the Narendra Modi government has decided to waive Goods and Services Tax on langar items on Thursday by providing financial assistance under ‘Seva Bhoj Yojna’.

Under the plan, the central government has a financial outlay of Rs 325 crore through which the Central GST and central government’s share of Integrated Goods and Service Tax (IGST) on the purchase of items by “charitable institutions for distributing free food to the public” will be re-reimbursed, the Ministry of Culture said in a statement.

It was earlier reported that the Gurdwaras, popular for running community kitchen known as the “langar”, were feeling the pinch of the GST regime. At the Golden Temple complex, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee claimed to have paid nearly Rs 2 crore as GST, IANS reported in February.

“Heartfelt gratitude to PM Narendra Modi Ji for respecting Sikh sentiments by launching Seva Bhoj Yojna to refund CGST and IGST on Langar served in Gurudwaras and all other religious/charitable institutions,” Union Cabinet Minister of Food Processing Harsimrat Kaur Badal tweeted early on Friday.

The SGPC, which manages gurdwaras, or Sikh shrines, across Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh had written to the Narendra Modi government seeking exemption on the purchase of raw materials used for langars. Gurdwaras across the country serve free food to about 10 million people on a daily basis.

[The Financial Express]