Patna: To waive GST on langhar Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has written the GST Council. He urged the GST Council to grant exemption to all ingredients like ghee, edible oil and spices, for preparing ‘langar’ (community kitchen) food served by gurdwaras.
In a letter to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Kumar said “even though food served through a langar is not taxable under GST, some significant inputs like sugar, ghee, edible oil, spices, etc, are taxable.
“The tax on these inputs adds to the cost of the gurdwara. Imposition of tax on the aforementioned inputs should be discouraged in view of the sanctity of the langar. Hence, food provided through a langar should be relieved of any tax burden,” Kumar wrote in the letter.
The Centre has exempted food supplied by religious places of worship like temples, mosques, churches and gurdwaras from GST but ruled out granting tax exemption to inputs used for making ‘prasad’ such as sugar, vegetable edible oils, ghee and butter.
Bihar is home to a number of gurdwaras, most renowned of them being the Takht Harmandir Patna Sahib in Patna, situated in a locality where Guru Gobind Singh had born and spent his childhood.
Sikh pilgrims from across the world visited the Gurdwara in the past one year while the 350th birth anniversaryof the 10th Sikh Guru, who established the Khalsa Panth , was being celebrated.
Kumar said that gurdwaras are engaged in charitable activities and well-recognised as centres of selfless service. The most prominent of such activities is providing food through langars, to everyone and anyone who visits a gurdwara. The system of langar has been in vogue since the inception of the Panth and it is an activity embedded in benevolent Sikh tradition.