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After Finance ministry says no GST on serais, AAP MP thanks Sitharaman

New Delhi: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Rajya Sabha MP Vikramjit Singh Sahney on Friday thanked Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for making clear that GST would not be charged on religious places and that sarais run by Sikhs will not need to pay the tax.
"No GST will be charged in religious places. Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman gave out this ruling today morning. I thank Union Minister for acceding to my demands," said Vikramjit Singh Sahney. The Rajya Sabha MP had earlier said he would raise the issue in the Parliament.
"I am happy to inform all the Punjabis and Sikh devotees that Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and the GST council, CBIC, have allowed the precincts of a religious place to include a Serai," Sahney said on Friday.
"The precincts of a religious place, in terms of the above notification, has to be given broader meaning to include a Sarai even if it is located outside the boundary wall of a complex of a religious place, in the surrounding area, and managed by the same trust or management," Sahney said.
"These Sarais managed by SGPC may therefore avail the above stated exemptions in respect of renting of rooms by them," he added.
On Thursday, Shaney had said that he will be raising the issue of GST imposition on Serais associated with Gurudwaras and other religions institutions in the Parliament.
The central government cleared the air regarding doubts about goods and services tax (GST) on Sarais (accommodations) run by religious or charitable trusts.
"Certain sections of the media and social media are spreading the message that GST has recently been imposed with effect from 18 July, 2022 even on Sarais run by religious/charitable trusts. This is not true." the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) posted on Twitter as part of a series of tweets.
Based on the recommendations of the 47th GST Council meeting in Chandigarh, GST exemption on "hotel accommodations" having room rent upto Rs 1,000 per day was withdrawn and tax at 12 per cent imposed.
There were doubts that the decision would also impact serais. Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, the foremost organisation of Sikhs, and several Aam Aadmi Party leaders, especially Raghav Chadha, had earlier demanded a rollback in GST on such accommodations.
On Wednesday, Chadha gave a suspension of business notice in Rajya Sabha to discuss the imposition of GST on such Sarais.
In another tweet, the CBIC said: "However, there is another exemption which exempts renting of rooms in religious precincts by a charitable or religious trust, where amount charged for the room is less than Rs. 1000 per day. This exemption continues to be in force without any change."CBIC quoting reports stated that the three Sarais -- Guru Gobind Singh NRI Niwas, Baba Deep Singh Niwas, Mata Bhag Kaur Niwas -- managed by SGPC in Amritsar have started paying GST with effect from July 18.
"In this regard it is to clarify that no notice has been issued to any of these Sarais. These Sarais may have on their own opted to pay GST."This view was being consistently taken by the Centre even in the pre-GST regime, it said."
State Tax authorities may also take the same view in their jurisdiction. These Sarais managed by SGPC may therefore avail the above-stated exemptions in respect of renting of rooms by them," another CBIC tweet said. (ANI)

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