What is Seva Bhoj Yojna?

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The Seva Bhoj Yojna is a central sector scheme of the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. It was launched on the 1st of August, 2018 and 350 crores had been allocated for the same for the financial years 2018-19 and 2019-20.

Under this scheme, the Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) and Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST) levied on non-manufactured food items by organisations that are charitable and religious, running langar/ food/ prasad/ Bhandara to the people/ devotees without any discrimination can be reduced.

Objectives of the scheme

Under the Seva Bhoj Yojna central goods and services tax or CGST and central government’s share of integrated goods and services tax or GST paid on a particular purchase of specific goods like raw food items by charitable religious institutions for distributing free food to the public shall be reimbursed as financial assistance by the government of India.

Activities supported

Free langar, prasad, langar, Bhandara are offered by charitable religious institutions like temples, dharmik ashrams, mutt, churches, monasteries, gurudwaras, dargah, etc. The financial assistance will be provided on first-cum-first-serve basis of registration that is linked to funds available for the purpose in a financial year.

Assistance quantum

The financial assistance in the form of reimbursement shall be provided where the institution has already paid GST on all or any of the raw food items mentioned below:

  1. Edible oil
  2. Sugar, Burra, jaggery
  3. Rice
  4. Atta, maida, Rava, flour
  5. Ghee
  6. Pulses

Registration of the scheme

Follow the below-mentioned steps in order to register for the Seva Bhoj Yojna:

  1. The enrolment of religious institutions under the Seva Bhoj scheme can be only done once
  2. The religious institution will be nominated by the Ministry of Culture by the 31st of March, 2020
  3. Firstly, the religious institutions will have to register on NITI Aayog’s Darpan portal
  4. A committee will be constituted for this purpose within four weeks to the ministry
  5. According to the recommendations of the committee, the competent authority of the ministry will register charitable religious institutions to return the central government’s share of CGST and IGST on the specified items mentioned above

Implementation of the scheme

The Ministry of Culture will register the eligible charitable institution for a time period ending with the term of the finance commission. The Ministry may renew the registration after assessing the performance of the Institute.

The distribution of the registered organisation to the general GST officials will be available on the official online portal. The institution has to send the IGST or GST share back to the central government in the given format during recognition of registration to the respective GST department at the state level. The organisation or institution will be responsible for providing any information regarding the memorandum of cooperation, the increase or decrease in the number of employees or the places of free food

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