The GST should not become “God Service Tax”, a Congress MP from Punjab said in Lok Sabha today, demanding withdrwal of the newly introduced tax on community kitchen service at religious places including Gurdwaras. Raising the issue during the Zero Hour, Ravneet Singh Bittoo said all political parties should join hands in putting pressure on the government to withdraw the GST on “langar sewa” at all religious places.
“The government must withdraw the GST on ‘langar sewa’. GST should not be levied on religious places. GST should not become ‘God Service Tax’,” he said. Bittoo said nearly Rs 10 crore will annually go out of the Darbar Saheb at the Golden Temple in Amritsar if the government does not exempt community kitchen services from the GST net. Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has also sought GST waiver on community kitchen services.
In a letter to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Singh had said Gurdwaras were exempted from payment of VAT on goods brought by them for serving food in free kitchens (langar). He had said the arrangement should continue under the GST regime as well.