New Delhi: AAP Rajya Sabha MP Vikramjit Singh Sahney said on Friday that the Ministry of Finance and the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) have clarified that there will be no GST applicable on ‘Sarais’ (inns) owned by Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) or other religious bodies.
He also clarified that GST wouldn’t be applicable on Sarais situated outside gurdwara premises owned by SGPC or other religious institutions, charitable trusts or societies.
The AAP MP from Punjab, who had raised the issue during the Zero Hour in the Parliament, said these Sarais could be outside the boundary wall of gurdwaras.
Sahney said that he had also spoken to SGPC President Harjinder Singh Dhami and informed him that Sarais managed by SGPC need not pay any GST.
He further stated that although purchases for ‘langar’ are exempted from GST, SGPC and other gurdwaras had to pay the GST first and then claim reimbursement.
He also demanded that the government should release all the pending GST reimbursements to the SGPC which, amount to Rs 4 crore.
On the other hand, Dhami informed that they had started collecting the GST but had not deposited it with the government.
He also said Sarais are not commercial or profit-making institutions, but they are meant for providing service to the ‘Sangat’.
Dhami said SGPC had to spend on various facilities, including air conditioning, maintenance etc., so they take nominal charges from the visiting pilgrims. Still, GST would have been an additional burden on the devotees.