In an attempt to lessen the financial burden on religious and charitable bodies, Union Ministry of Culture on Wednesday initiated a scheme to refund share of Goods and Services Tax (GST) on food, prasad, langar or bhandara offered by these institutions.
A statement released by the ministry on Wednesday announced the 'Seva Bhoj Yojna' and said that the scheme has a total outlay of Rs 325.00 crore for financial years 2018-19 and 2019-20.
According to the scheme, religious and charitable bodies that provide food/prasad/langar (community kitchen)/ bhandara to public without any payment and discrimination will be compensated of the Central Government share of Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) and Integrated Goods and Service Tax (IGST).
Religious/ charitable institutions such as temples, gurudwaras, mosques, churches, dharmik ashram, dargah, matth, monasteries, will be eligible for financial assistance under the scheme only if they have been existence for at least three years, provided they meet other criteria.
The institutions that register for the scheme will have their details posted on an online portal so that public can view them, and GST authorities can access them.