Chandigarh, June 14 (IANS) The Centre has released Rs 57 lakh as refund on the GST charged on raw materials used to prepare food at ‘langars’ or community kitchens in gurdwaras, including at the Golden Temple in Amritsar, Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said.
Badal thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for fulfilling the promise by initiating the process for the first time of refunding the Goods and Services Tax (GST) imposed on religious institutions.
The three-time MP said the Union Ministry of Culture has released Rs 57 lakh as GST refund to the GST authority in Ludhiana which is to be forwarded to the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), she said in a statement here.
“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,” she said.
The Central government in June last year announced financial assistance to offset additional burden under the GST regime on purchases meant for the community kitchens that serve free meals to devotees and the needy.
Under the GST regime enforced since July 2017, purchases made for community kitchen were not exempted, eliciting protests from religious organisations like the SGPC, which runs community kitchens at gurdwaras under its control.
Though the Central government has not given full-fledged waiver on GST for purchases made for the ‘langars’, it has allowed provision of special assistance to cover the burden of the additional tax under the GST, officials said.
Punjab had announced in March last year that it will waive state GST on ‘langar’ purchases.