Following a bitter exchange of words with Union minister and senior Akali leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal over GST refund on langar, Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh said the government today transferred Rs 1.96 crore to the bank account of the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabhandak Committee (SGPC), to settle the entire pending refund of Darbar Sahib, Amritsar.
With this, not a single penny of the claims raised by the SGPC for the GST on the langar was pending, said Special Chief Secretary, Revenue, KBS Sidhu, adding that no claim had so far been received from the other two religious shrines – Sri Durgiana Mandir, Amritsar and Sri Valmik Sthal, Ram Tirath, Amritsar. Notably, the state government had in May this year allocated Rs 4 crore to the Deputy Commissioner, Amritsar for the GST refund for three shirnes.
Of the total allocated amount against pending GST bills, Rs 3.5 crore was set aside for Darbar Sahib, Rs 35,000 for Durgiana Mandir and the remaining for Valmiki Sthal, Ram Tirath.
The Chief Minister has already directed the Finance and Revenue departments to clear any further pending claims for the three shrines, as soon as they are raised, against the GST incurred from August 1, 2017. He has also instructed immediate disbursal of all future claims of the three shrines, said Sidhu.
Amarinder has made it clear that the state government was committed to bearing the GST for these three shrines, in line with its notification of 100 per cent refund against this head for Punjab’s share.
The process of clearing the pending dues against the GST refund had been initiated immediately after the requisite budgetary approvals were taken from the Vidhan Sabha in the Budget session and the Finance Department had relaxed its guidelines of quarterly releases, said the Chief Minister.
As soon as the process was completed, the pending GST refund of Rs 1,96,57,190 was transferred to the SGPC against its pending claim, he added.
Not only this, the state government had decided to allocate the entire pending amount to the DC, Amritsar, to ensure its seamless disbursement, Amarinder pointed out, lambasting Akali leaders for resorting to blatant falsehoods to mislead the people on this sensitive religious issues.