Punjab Rajya Sabha MP Vikramjit Singh Sahney on Friday thanked Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman after waiving off Goods and Services Tax (GST) from religious places including Sarais in or around Gurdwaras.
Earlier today, the central government cleared the air regarding doubts about GST on Sarais (accommodations) run by religious or charitable trusts, saying it is not true.
"I am happy to inform all the Punjabis and Sikh devotees that this morning honourable finance minister and GST council CBIC allowed GST Exemption to precincts of a religious place including Sarai even if it is located outside the boundary wall of a complex of a religious place, in the surrounding area, and managed by the same trust & management," Vikramjit told ANI.
"I thanked Nirmala Sitharaman for accepting our demands and waiving off GST from Sarai's," Sahney told ANI.
Punjab MP Vikramjit Singh Sahni said that this is a big relief for the devotees after the waiving off GST charges from religious places as from today onwards all gurdwaras should not charge GST on any Sarai's and accommodations in or around Gurudwaras.
"I have spoken to Sikh Gurudwara Prabandhan Committee (SGPC) president Harjinder Singh Dhami and requested him to not charge GST from today as it has been clarified by the finance ministry," Vikramjit told ANI.
According to Vikramjit Sahney finance ministry has advised him that SGPC can claim the GST refund for Sarais Rooms paid after July 17, after the notification
"If SGPC has paid GST charges after the circular which was July 17 to August 5 can claim for GST return and the paid amount can be refunded," Rajya Sabha MP said.
The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has clarified that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is not levied on inns run by religious or charitable trusts.
"Certain sections of the media and social media are spreading the message that GST has recently been imposed with effect from July 18, 2022, even on 'Sarais' run by religious/charitable trusts. This is not true." the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) posted on Twitter as part of a series of tweets.
Based on the recommendations of the 47th GST Council meeting held in Chandigarh, GST exemption on "hotel accommodations" having room rent upto Rs 1,000 per day has been withdrawn, and are now taxed at 12 per cent.
Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, the foremost organisation of Sikhs, and several Aam Aadmi Party leaders, especially Raghav Chadha, had demanded a rollback in GST on such accommodations.
This clarification by the central government came hours after Rajya Sabha member Chadha on Thursday met Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to demand a rollback of GST on such accommodations, which also includes Sarais meant for devotes of the Holy Shri Harmandir Sahib at Amritsar.
On Wednesday, Chadha gave a suspension of business notice in Rajya Sabha to discuss the imposition of GST on such Sarais.
In another tweet, the CBIC said: "However, there is another exemption which exempts renting of rooms in religious precincts by a charitable or religious trust, where amount charged for the room is less than Rs. 1000/- per day. This exemption continues to be in force without any change."
CBIC quoting reports stated that the three Sarais -- Guru Gobind Singh NRI Niwas, Baba Deep Singh Niwas, Mata Bhag Kaur Niwas -- managed by SGPC in Amritsar have started paying GST with effect from July 18.
"In this regard, it is to clarify that no notice has been issued to any of these Sarais. These Sarais may have on their own opted to pay GST."
This view was being consistently taken by the Centre even in the pre-GST regime, it said.
"State Tax authorities may also take the same view in their jurisdiction. These Sarais managed by SGPC may therefore avail the above-stated exemptions in respect of renting of rooms by them," another CBIC tweet said.
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