Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday announced waiver of the state government’s 50 per cent share in the goods and services tax on the community kitchen at the Darbar Sahib, even as the state assembly unanimously passed a resolution to seek total waiver from the Centre.
The Chief Minister also announced similar waiver on GST on ‘langar’ and ‘prasad’ for Durgiana Mandir and Bhagwan Valmiki Tirath Sthal, while directing officials to work out modalities for similar waiver at religious shrines of other communities.
Intervening in a discussion on the issue in the assembly, Amarinder Singh said his government would not take its share of the GST on the ‘langar’ items but would it to the Darbar Sahib.
He said his government in 2002 waived off sales tax on all ‘langar’ items, which had been levied by the previous Akali government.
The Chief Minister slammed the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and its ally, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), for not opposing the imposition of GST before the GST Council.
Pointing out that this was not the first time the subject came up for discussion in the House, he said it was obvious that SAD was only trying to gain political mileage from the issue as it was not doing anything to force the BJP-led government at the Centre to waive off the GST on ‘langar’.
Meanwhile, the House unanimously passed the resolution to press the central government to immediately waive off its GST share on the ‘langar’ items at Sri Darbar Sahib and Durgiana Mandir.
The resolution, which was passed by voice vote, had been moved by Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal.
The Congress government had raised this issue thrice before the GST council, but their request had been rejected outright by the Union Finance Minister, Badal said.