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Inputs on 'langar' food in gurudwara should get GST exemption: Nitish Kumar

The Centre has exempted food supplied by religious places of worship like temples, mosques, churches and gurudwaras from GST but ruled out granting tax exemption to inputs

Press Trust of India  |  Patna 

Nitish Kumar, Bihar Earth Day
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish 

Chief Minister Kumar has urged the to grant exemption to all ingredients like ghee, and spices, for preparing "langar" (community kitchen) served by gurudwaras.

In a letter addressed to Arun Jaitley, who is also the of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council, Kumar said "even though served through a langar is not taxable under GST, some significant inputs like sugar, ghee, edible oil, spices etc. are taxable.

"The tax on these inputs add to the cost of the gurudwara. Imposition of tax on the aforementioned inputs should be discouraged in view of the sanctity of the langar. Hence, provided through a langar should be relieved of any tax burden," Kumar wrote in the letter.

The Centre has exempted supplied by religious places of worship like temples, mosques, churches and gurudwaras from GST but ruled out granting tax exemption to inputs used for making prasad such as sugar, vegetable edible oils, and butter.

is home to a number of gurudwaras, most renowned of them being the Takht Harmandir Sahib in Patna, situated in a locality where is said to have been born and spent his childhood.

Sikh pilgrims from across the world visited the shrine in the past one year while the 350th "Amritotsav" (birth anniversary) of the 10th Sikh Guru - who established the Khalsa Panth tradition - was being celebrated.

"It is my considered view that the levy of tax should be limited to activities which are undertaken in the course of business. Accordingly, any activity which is not pursued as part of any business or which is not incidental or connected to any business activity should be kept away from the ambit of taxation," Kymar said in his letter dated April 12, 2018.

"In this context, you will agree that gurudwaras are engaged in charitable activities and well-recognized as centres of selfless service. The most prominent of such activities is providing through langars, to everyone and anyone who visits a gurudwara. The system of langar has been in vogue since the inception of the Panth and it is an activity embedded in benevolent Sikh tradition," Kumar said.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, April 13 2018. 12:15 IST
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