Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister announced Wednesday that Punjab government has decided to waive its 50% share of the GST imposed on ‘langar’ (community kitchen) at Sri Darbar Sahib in Amritsar.
The state government moved a resolution also urging the Centre and the GST Council to completely waive GST on langar items at Sri Darbar Sahib which was adopted unanimously.
Amarinder Singh told the state Assembly on Wednesday “There will be no GST (state share) on langar items at Sri Darbar Sahib. Besides, no GST will be there for langar items at Durgiana mandir at Amritsar and a mosque in Malerkotla. We believe in secularism,”.
His remarks drew appreciation from Leader of Opposition Sukhpal Singh Khaira (AAP), Parminder Singh Dhindsa (SAD) and Som Prakash (BJP), a note in Hindustan Times.
The state finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal told the Assembly that the share of GST on purchases for ‘langar’ in Sri Darbar Sahib was 50:50 for the Centre and the state.
Now, the Punjab government has waived its share, Manpreet Singh Badal said as he asked the Shiromani Akali Dal whether it would press the Modi government at the Centre to waive the central government’s share as well.
Referring to Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, the Punjab finance minister said the SAD even had a minister in the Modi government.
“In the GST Council, the BJP has a majority. Will the SAD press for waiver of GST on purchases for langar items?” he asked.
With the purchases made for the Langar at Sri Darbar Sahib coming under various slabs of the new GST since its inception in July 2017, the SGPC had to bear an extra burden of around Rs 2 crore till date.
The purchases for Sri Darbar Sahib Langar, which feeds from 55,000 to 60,000 devotees daily, cost around Rs 75 crore annually, SGPC officials said.
As per official figures, between the period July 1, 2017 and January 31, 2018, the new GST slab puts an extra burden of Rs 1.9 crore.