Sukhdev Singh Bhaur, Convener, Panthic Front
Panthic Front picks holes in SAD claim of “GST waiver” on langar
By Raju William
Ludhiana, June 1, 2018: Even as Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Friday termed the new central scheme offering reimbursement on purchases for free food to public by religious charitable institutions as a historic ”exemption” of GST on langar, Panthic Front termed it as a shrewd move by the Modi government.
Striking disagreement with SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal, his wife and Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal who have hailed the “exemption” and thanked the PM, FM and the BJP national president for this, Convener of Panthic Front Sukhdev Singh Bhaur maintained that the actual demand of the Sikh community was to completely exempt the langar from all kinds of taxes levied in the form of the GST.
This demand has not been met. The Centre’s decision of special assistance on free food distribution in the new scheme was nothing but a clever tactic to divert attention of the demand of complete GST exemption. Unfortunately, this is being wholeheartedly welcomed and hailed, he added.
Under the new Seva Bhoj Yojna, the Centre has earmarked Rs 325 crore for all the religious charitable institutions in the country to reimburse free distribution of food to public by them. “It means that first taxes on langar items will have to be paid and then the same will be reimbursed by the government under the new scheme. Though running langar on daily basis at gurdwaras is not dependent on the government assistance but it would have really appreciable if the government had announced complete withdrawal of the GST on langar,” said Bhaur.
He said the new scheme was floated as the Modi government and its alliance partner SAD were put in an awkard situation by Amarinder-led Punjab government which has already waived off the state’s share in the GST on langar.