Union food processing industries minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal today said the NDA government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had fulfilled the promise made to the Sikh community by initiating the process of refunding GST charged on raw materials used to prepare ‘langar’ in gurudwaras including Shri Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar.
Disclosing this here, Mrs Badal said the Union ministry of Culture had released Rs 57 lakh GST refund to the GST authority in Ludhiana which is to be forwarded to the SGPC. “This is the first installment of GST refund and henceforth this refund will be issued quarterly to the SGPC. I thank the Prime Minister for the respect shown to Sikh sentiments by resolving this issue to the satisfaction of the Sikh community”, Mrs Badal added.
The erstwhile NDA government had decided to waive GST on langar items by providing financial assistance under ‘Seva Bhoj Yojna’. Under this scheme it was decided to reimburse both the Central GST (Goods and Service Tax) and the IGST (Integrated Goods and Service Tax) imposed on gurdwaras as well as other religious institutions hosting ‘langar’.
Earlier Mrs Harsimrat Badal had urged the Prime Minister to waive GST on ingredients used to prepare ‘langar’ in gurudwaras in April 2018 which was accepted shortly afterwards with the centre coming out with the Sewa Bhoj Yojna. Mrs Badal had pointed out that the Sri Harmandir Sahib; Amritsar ran the world’s largest community kitchen offering free meals throughout the year to lakhs of people, the donation for which was received from the offerings of devotees. She had also pointed out that this issue also concerned the sentiments of the Sikh community and must be addressed at the earliest.