Union food processing industries minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal today urged Union finance minister Arun Jaitely to exempt all purchases made by SGPC for ‘langar sewa’ from the GST Act.
In a statement here, Mrs Badal said the Punjab government had earlier exempted all items purchased for langar by SGPC at Sri Darbar Sahab Amritsar, Sri Keshgarh Sahab Anandpur and Talwandi Sabo Bathinda from VAT. She said the SGPC spent around Rs 75 crore to purchase desi ghee, sugar and pulses. “Now it will have to bear a financial burden of Rs 10 crore on these purchases as they come under the 5 to 18 per cent GST bracket”.
Requesting the finance minister to get these purchases exempted under the new GST regime, Mrs Badal said the concept of langar was started by Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji in 1841 to propagate the concept of equality in society regardless of religion, caste, colour and creed. She said Sri Harmandar Sahab ran the world’s largest mega kitchen offering free meals throughout the year to lakhs of people. She said the donation for the same came from offerings made by people.
The union minister said the new GST Act (section 11) and section 6 of IGST Act provided for exemption to institutions/businesses eligible for the same on the recommendation of the GST Council. She said SGPC president Kirpal Singh Badungar had already made a representation in this regard. She said the same could be examined and langar purchases could be exempted from GST so that gurdwaras were not burdened for proving langar and serving humanity.