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Central government releases Rs 57 lakh as first GST refund for Langar items purchased by Gurudwaras

Last year, the Modi government decided to waive GST on langar items on Thursday by providing financial assistance under ‘Seva Bhoj Yojna’.

In a massive relief to gurudwaras across the country, the Central Government has finally released Rs 57 lakh as a refund for the GST that was charged on items used for preparing the food at ‘Langars’ in gurudwaras, including the Golden Temple. Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal thanked the Prime Minister for fulfilling his promise to the Sikh community.

In a statement, she said the Ministry of Culture has released the fund to the GST authority in Ludhiana from where it would be handed over to Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) which manages the gurudwara’s across the country.

“This is the first instalment 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,” said the minister.

The minister had also asked the Congress government in Punjab to follow suit and fulfil its promise to refund State share of GST to the SGPC.

In 2018 SGPC had claimed that the GST levied on Langar raw materials caused a heavy burden on the Golden Temple as it had to pay Rs 2 crore as GST from 1st July 2017 to 31st January 2018. Last year, the Modi government decided to waive GST on langar items on Thursday by providing financial assistance under ‘Seva Bhoj Yojna’.

As announced by the Ministry of Culture, the scheme with a total outlay of Rs. 325.00 crores “envisages to reimburse the Central Government share of Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) and Integrated Goods and Service Tax (IGST)so as to lessen the financial burden of such Charitable Religious Institutions who provide Food/Prasad/Langar (Community Kitchen)/Bhandara free of cost without any discrimination to Public/Devotees”.

Just a day after swearing in, PM Modi took a major decision on ‘Prime Minister’s Scholarship Scheme’ and followed by the first Cabinet meeting the in which five path-breaking decisions were made. In a massive push for healthcare benefits, the government has reduced the contribution of employees and employers for ESI (Employee State Insurance) scheme.

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