" --IANS"
Chandigarh, July 17 - Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has sought GST exemption on langar (community kitchen) and prasad (food distributed to devotees) given at various religious institutions.

The Chief Minister has written to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on the issue following an appeal by the Sikh Gurdwara Prabhandak Committee and other individuals and organisations to waive off Goods and Services Tax on these materials, said Chief Minister's spokesperson on Monday.

In his letter, Amarinder Singh reminded Jaitley that gurudwaras were exempted from paying VAT on goods bought for serving food in free kitchens (langar), but under the new GST regime, tax is payable on them, as well on sale of prasad, thus impacting all religious institutions including temples, gurudwaras, mosques and the churches.

Terming the levy of GST on goods purchased by religious institutions as not fair as these centres did not have any source of income and were run and managed with finances raised through donations, he urged Jaitley to reconsider the matter and exempt all religious institutions from GST -- not only on sale and purchase of prasad but also on goods purchased for the langar.

--IANS

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