Chandigarh: As per media reports Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal met the BJP President Amit Shah in New Delhi on Thursday and urged him to get a GST waiver on items for Langar in Sri Darbar Sahib, Amritsar.
Badal met the BJP chief at the head of a delegation which comprised the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Managment Committee President Manjit Singh GK, senior Akali leaders and Members of Parliament Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Balwinder Singh Bhunder, Ranjit Singh Brahampura, Prem Singh Chandumajra and Naresh Gujral.
The SAD spokesperson Harcharan Bains told newspersons in Chandigarh, “We strongly urged the BJP chief to intervene to secure a positive response from the Government of India to the GST exemption demand as this is not just a sensitive and sacred religious issue affecting the sentiments of the Sikhs all over the world but it also reflects the sentiments of all other communities who regard Sri Darbar Sahib as a “shrine for the whole humanity”.
Mr Badal said that the delegation apprised Mr Shah of the heavy burden imposed on Sri Darbar Sahib by the GST as crores of rupees meant for the sacred purpose of service to the entire mankind were siphoned off through taxation.
Langar is a unique and noble form of social welfare. Everybody, regardless of religion, caste, community, state and nationality is offered free langar at any time of the day at Sri Darbar Sahib and the Sikh shrines are unique in the world in this respect.
Sri Darbar Sahib langar is widely acknowledged as the largest free community kitchen in the world. The SAD, the SGPC and the DSGMC have been fighting for getting exemption from the GST on langar items since its introduction.
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.
Punjab Congress MPs and Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president Sunil Jakhar held a protest in front of the Gandhi statue in Parliament today, demanding that the Centre waive the GST on langar at Sri Darbar Sahib in Amritsar.