Lucknow’s Sikh community agitated over GST charge on Golden Temple’s langar

LUCKNOW: The Lucknow Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (LGPC) on April 6 demanded immediate withdrawal of GST on langar – free community meal – offered by Sikhs at the Golden Templeand other Gurudwaras in the country. The committee said in the 450 years of history of providing free food in langar, it was the first time that GST was being charged which has hurt Sikhs across the globe.
Expressing their anger, the Sikh community complained that with GST being charged on ingredients required in preparation for the langar and Kadha Parshad, the community is being “punished” for social service.
“Over 80,000 people are served for free at the Golden temple through the langar. Even then up till December 31, 2017, the central government has charged Rs 2 crores already,” said LGPC president Rajendra Singh Bagga.
Presiding over a press meet on the day, former state minister and MLC Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, said that the Sikh community was highly agitated over the decision to impose GST on langar ingredients at Golden Temple which is the community’s Mecca.
Adding in Bagga said, “If we don’t speak now, the same will be done at all our Gurudwaras. If the central government does not pay heed to our demand, on April 14-Baisakhi day- we will send a resolution to the prime minister through the state governor. If that too is turned a blind eye to, we will sit in protest.”
While the LGPC president asserted that gurudwaras all over have always done good for the society by distributing free food, medicines and clothes during the time of natural calamities and social strife, the LGPC general secretary Harpal Singh Jaggi wondered why the Centre was imposing tax on a social service appreciated and lauded by people world over.

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