Chandigarh: Punjab Government will pay an advance amount to the SGPC, which can be used to pay the GST on langar served at Sri Darbar Sahib in Amritsar.
A state government cannot waive even its own share of the GST levied on any item. But it can refund its own share, after it is paid by the assessee.
The Punjab government is conscious of the SGPC that runs the langar sewa in Darbar Sahib being “controlled” by the SAD. In case of any delay in giving refunds, the Congress government realises that it would give ammunition to their political opponents. “Punjab is thus working on a different model for waiving the state’s GST share. We might make an advance payment to the SGPC, which can then be used to pay the entire GST — state’s share as well as Centre’s share,” an officer in the Excise Department said.
It’s when the GST was rolled out in July last year, it was estimated that the SGPC would have to shell out an additional Rs 10 crore per annum towards paying the tax. However, after the GST on certain items was reduced, the tax paid by the SGPC on items for langar was Rs 1.99 crore for the period between July 1, 2017, and January 31, 2018. The total purchase at the Golden Temple for this period was of Rs 20.17 crore. The main items used in the lagar, which attract the GST are ghee, sugar, dry fruit, LPG, tea leaves and dry milk.
It’s pertinent to mention here that Punjab’s Captain Government has already decided to waive its 50% share of the GST imposed on ‘Langar’ (community kitchen) at Sri Darbar Sahib in Amritsar.
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Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)’s delegation led by president Sukhbir Singh Badal met the BJP President Amit Shah in New Delhi on March 22 and urged him to get a GST waiver for Langar.