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Budget of Rs 150 cr & Rs 175 cr proposed for Seva Bhoj Yojna scheme for FC 2018-19 & 2019-20

7/28/2018

New Delhi, The government has proposed a total budget outlay of the ‘Seva Bhoj Yojna’ for the financial year 2018-19 and 2019-20 at Rs 150 crores and Rs 175 crores respectively, ministry sources said. The scheme is a central sector one under which the Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) and centre’s share of Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST) paid by charitable religious institutions such as temples, gurudwara, dharmik ashram, mosques, dargah, church, matth, monasteries and others on purchase of specific raw food items shall be reimbursed to them as financial assistance by the centre. The raw food items covered under the scheme includes ghee, edible oil, sugar/burra/jaggery, rice, atta/maida/rava/flour and pulses. The sources said the institutions applying for financial assistance under the scheme should have been distributing free food in the form of ‘prasad’, ‘langar’/bhandara (community kitchen) to at least 5,000 people in a calendar month for at least past three years. As per the scheme guidelines, the institutions are required to produce along with other relevant documents, a certificate from District Magistrate indicating that the institution is involved in charitable religious activities and is distributing free food to public since last three years on a daily or monthly basis. Besides, they are required to produce Chartered Accountant’s Certificate certifying that the quantity, price and CGST, SGST/UGST and IGST paid on purchase of specified items during the claim period. Moreover, the institution is involved in religious activities and specific items have been used only for distributing free food to public during the claim period and it is using the specified raw food items only for distributing free food to public during the claim period. The guidelines of the scheme also provided for inspection and monitoring by the Ministry Officials, District Collector or Deputy Commissioner and State (GST) Authorities. They are also required to maintain separate account for assistance received under the scheme and this account can be inspected or audited by the officers of the Ministry, sources said. Further, in case of misuse of funds, there are penalties such as black listing the organisations, recovering the assistance provided by Ministry of Culture with penal interest apart from taking criminal action as per law, sources added.

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