DW BUREAU / Chandigarh
Punjab government has decided to waive its share of the GST imposed on purchases made for ‘langar’ (community kitchen) at the Golden Temple in Amritsar, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh told the state Assembly here on Wednesday.
Following the announcement, the state government moved a resolution urging the Centre and the GST Council to completely waive GST on langar items at Golden Temple which was adopted unanimously.
“There will be no GST (state share) on langar items at Golden Temple. Besides, no GST will be there for langar items at Durgiana Mandir at Amritsar and the Mosque in Malerkotla. We believe in secularism,” Amarinder Singh told the House.
His remarks drew appreciation from Leader of Opposition Sukhpal Singh Khaira (AAP), Parminder Singh Dhindsa (SAD) and Som Prakash (BJP).
The state Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal told the Assembly that the share of GST on purchases for ‘langar’ in Golden Temple was 50:50 for the Centre and the state.
Now, the Punjab government has waived its share, Manpreet Singh Badal said as he asked the Shiromani Akali Dal whether it would press the Modi government at the Centre to waive the central government’s share as well.
Referring to Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, the Punjab Finance Minister said the SAD even had a minister in the Modi government.
“In the GST Council, the BJP has a majority. Will the SAD press for waiver of GST on purchases for langar items?” he asked.
Manpreet Singh Badal moved a resolution urging the Centre and the GST Council to completely waive the GST on langar items at Golden Temple which was adopted by the House unanimously.
With the purchases made for the community kitchen at Golden Temple coming under various slabs of the new GST since its inception in July 2017, the SGPC had to bear an extra burden of around Rs 2 crore till date.
The purchases for the Golden Temple kitchen, which feeds from 55,000 to 60,000 devotees daily, cost around Rs 75 crore annually, SGPC officials said.
As per official figures, between the period July 1, 2017 and January 31, 2018, the total purchase for the Golden Temple’s kitchen was Rs 20.17 crore. The new
GST slab puts an extra burden of Rs 1.9 crore.