The Union Ministry of Culture introduced a new scheme called ‘Seva Bhoj Yojna’ to reimburse the central share of CGST and IGST on items for food/prasad/langar/bhandara offered free of cost by charitable religious institutions.
The scheme has been launched for financial years 2018-19 and 2019-20 with a total outlay of Rs. 325.00 crores.
In brief , About the Yojna
- The scheme seeks to reimburse the central government’s share of Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) and Integrated Goods and Service Tax (IGST) on purchase of raw items such as ghee, edible oil, atta, maida, rava, flour, rice pulses, sugar and jaggery, which go into preparation of food/prasad/langar/bhandara offered free of cost by religious institutions.
- The main objective of the scheme is to lessen the financial burden of such charitable religious institutions, which provide free of cost without any discrimination to the general public and devotees.
- The charitable religious institutions including temples, gurudwara, mosque, church, dharmik ashram, dargah, monasteries, which fulfill the following criteria are eligible for the grant:
- The institutions that have been in existence for at least five years before applying for financial assistance/grant.
- Institutions that serve free food to at least 5000 people in a month.
- The institutions covered under Section 10( 23BBA) of the Income Tax Act or those registered as Society under Societies Registration Act ( XXI of 1860) or as a Public Trust under any law for the time being in force of statuary religious bodies constituted under any Act or institutions registered under Section 12AA of Income Tax Act.
All applications along with supporting documents received from the institutions in the ministry shall be examined by the committee constituted for the purpose within 4 weeks and on the basis of the recommendation of the committee, competent authority in the ministry shall register charitable religious institutions for reimbursing claim of CGST and central government share of IGST paid on above mentioned specific items,” the government added.