Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has sought from Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley a GST exemption on 'langars' and the 'prasad' distributed at various religious places, including temples. In a letter to the union minister, Amarinder reminded Jaitley that gurdwaras were exempted from VAT on goods they bought to cook at 'langars' (community kitchens), an official spokesman said today. The chief minister wrote to Jaitley after an appeal by the Sikh Gurdwara Prabhandak Committee (SGPC) and others to waive the tax on these materials, he said. Under the new GST regime, tax is payable on the purchases made for the community kitchens, the spokesman said. The chief minister said the GST is also payable on the sale of 'prasad' and this is impacting temples, gurdwaras and other religious institutions. "The levy of GST on goods purchased by these institutions was not fair as they did not have any source of income and were being run and managed through donations," Amarinder said in the letter. The chief minister said the demand for GST exemption by the managements of religious institutions was fair and should be acceded to by the Centre.
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