Not convinced with claim made by the Union finance ministry regarding exemption to religious organisations serving free food, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president Kirpal Singh Badungar on Wednesday wrote a letter to the Union finance minister Arun Jaitley requesting him to grant GST exemption for purchases made by the committee to run langar sewa in its gurdwaras.
Following an uproar from various quarters over imposition of GST on the purchases made by religious organisations, on Tuesday the finance finistry tweeted, “No GST is applicable on free food supplied in Anna Kshetra run by the religious institutions.“ In his letter to Jaitley, Badungar claimed that earlier all langar items purchased at Akal Takht, Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib and Takht Damdama Sahib were exempted from value added tax (VAT).However, with the implementation of the new tax regime, SGPC was now liable to pay GST on those purchases.
Badungar said the amo unt received towards `karah parshad’ was also subjected to GST.
SGPC is apprehensive that with GST, an extra financial burden of Rs 10 crore a year would be put on it.SGPC chief secretary Harcharan Singh said the procurement bill of langar items like desi ghee, sugar and pulses came to around Rs 75 cro re annually.
With the shift from VAT to GST, a tax of 12% would be levied on desi ghee, 18% on sugar and 5% on pulses, increasing the financial burden by Rs 10 crore annually, he said.
Badungar said all purchases made at these Sikh shrines should be exempted from GST and requested the Union government to consider it. In the letter, the SGPC said, “It will become impossible for the SGPC to carry out these services which are being rendered to the needy without any considerations of caste, creed and religion.“
He said he was quite hopeful that the request made by the SGPC would find favours with the Union government and it would soon be exempted from paying GST to run the langar sewa.
20 Feb 2020
21 Feb 2020