Golden temple's exemption from GST
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Harmandar Sahib runs the world’s largest mega kitchen offering free meals throughout the year to lakhs of people. The donation for the same came from offerings made by people. The offerings of devotees at Harmandar Sahib and other shrines is spent on free langar, medical aid and financial relief to cancer patients. The Punjab government had earlier exempted all items purchased for langar by SGPC at Darbar Sahib, Amritsar, Keshgarh Sahib, Anandpur, and Talwandi Sabo, Bathinda, from VAT. The procurement bill of langar items such as desi ghee, sugar and pulses comes to around Rs 75 crore annually. With the shift from VAT to GST, the tax of 12% will be levied on desi ghee, 18% on sugar and 5% on pulses, increasing the financial burden by Rs 10 crore annually. The GST Council should grant exemption of GST with respect to purchases at Harmandar Sahib, Takht Kesgarh Sahib and Takht Damdama Sahib.
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