With Union Government deciding to provide special financial assistance to all charitable religious bodies across the country that serve free food to public, thus langar now served at the Golden Temple will in total ‘not attract’ Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) and Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST).
Though these bodies will have to pay CGST (Central Goods and Services Tax) and IGST (Integrated Goods and Services Tax), this tax will be reimbursed by the Centre.
The GST is not levied on food served in the langar, but is charged on the purchase of raw materials used to prepare the food. The items on which GST is levied are sugar, ghee, dry fruits, tea and LPG. The Golden Temple has paid over Rs 2 crore in GST on langar items to date.
Diljit Singh Bedi of SGPC said that the committee had paid around Rs 3.20 crore as GST on the purchase of items for the langar served at Golden Temple’s community kitchen which is the biggest in the world.
The food bill of Golden temple is around Rs 75 core per year as daily about 70,000 to 80,000 thousand people visit the holy shrine and on weekends this number increases to 1.25 lakh to 1.50 lakh per day. On auspicious days like, Gurparab, Diwali, Baisakhi, the number touches to 6 lakhs. Of these about 50 per cent of the devotees eat Langar served in the Golden Temple.
The Punjab Government has already waived off its share of GST on the purchase of langar items.