Tribune News Service
Jalandhar, February 11
The Congress today condemned the GST being imposed on products used in the langar being served at the Golden Temple.
Speaking at a press conference held at the Punjab Press Club here today, Congress vice-president and spokesperson, Himanshu Pathak said the GST imposed by the Central government on products used in the langar reminded him of the Mughal days and their taxes.
He said yesterday, the SGPC had told the media that they had paid Rs 2 crore as the GST for the ration of the langar.
He also said that while the SGPC was earlier exempted from VAT and service tax, it was now paying heavy taxes at the rate of 12 per cent on desi ghee, 18 per cent on sugar, 5 per cent on pulses and cereals and many more items. He said these taxes were being paid for feeding nearly 55,000 devotees on weekdays and around 75,000-1,00,000 on weekends.
Questioning Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on whether the GST on the langar rations was a revenge for the defeat faced in the Amritsar Lok Sabha elections, he said while the government had exempted Tirumala Triputi Devasthana, in Andhra Pradesh from even GST registration, the imposition of the GST on the SGPC’s langar rations amounted to double standard.
Meanwhile, taking on the President of the Shiromani Akali Dal, Sukhbir Badal on the issue, Pathak said despite having paid Rs 2 crore as the GST tax to the Centre on langar, the SAD had failed to raise the issue. He asked the SAD that despite this being a serious Panthic issue, why did the party fail to take it up with Jaitley as well as the BJP government at the centre.