Chandigarh, June 14, 2019 (Yes Punjab News)
Union food processing industries minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal today lauded the NDA government for refunding central sales tax in the form of central share in GST to gurdwaras for the first time since independence, even as she asked the Congress government to refund its share of State GST as promised to the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC).
In a statement here, Mrs Harsimrat Badal said Central Sales Tax was charged on ingredients used for the preparation of langar for the last seventy one years. “Even though the erstwhile SAD-BJP government exempted Sri Darbar Sahib as well as Takhts of Sri Damdama Sahib and Sri Anandpur Sahib from imposition of VAT (Value Added Tax), they as well as all other gurdwaras had to pay sales tax on ingredients use to prepare langar”.
Mrs Badal said it was only now that the Central Sales Tax had been done away with for good. “The sales tax was merged into Central GST which the NDA government has done away with by reimbursing this amount back to all gurdwaras across the country through the Sewa Bhoj Yojna”.
Speaking about State GST, which the Congress government had promised to refund to the SGPC for Sri Darbar Sahib only, Mrs Badal said the same was yet to be received. She said as per information received by the SGPC, the State government had entertained a claim for refund of State GST from August 2018 to March 2018.
She said the SGPC as per its records was eligible for receiving refund for the preceding period also and would file the same soon. “The Congress government on its part should not delay refund of the entire State GST share due to Sri Darbar Sahib”, she added.
Mrs Badal asked the Congress government to refund State GST imposed on all gurdwaras in Punjab on the central pattern and not restrict this concession to Sri Darbar Sahib only.
Earlier Mrs Harsimrat Badal had successfully addressed the sentiments of the Sikh community on this issue after imposition of the GST regime by approaching the Prime Minister as well as other State governments as well as the GST Council to eventually win this relief for all religious and charitable organizations in the country.