What is Seva Bhoj Yojana:
- As we know in our country a huge amount of poor persons died with hunger. A big part of the population still not capable to get sufficient food to survive. Some of the charitable trust come in front to decrease such cases. A charitable trust is an irrevocable trust established for charitable purposes and, in some jurisdictions, a more specific term than “charitable organization”. A charitable trust enjoys a varying degree of tax benefits in most countries. It also generates good will.
- Union Ministry of Culture launched Seva Bhoj Yojna, a new scheme to provide financial assistance on the purchase of specific food items by Charitable Religious Institutions (CRIs) for free distribution among people. Under this scheme, Centre’s share of Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) and Interstate GST charged on raw food materials purchased by the religious institutions will be refunded. Seva Bhoj Yojna’ is a Central Sector Scheme of the Ministry of Culture Under the Scheme of ‘Seva Bhoj Yojna’ Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) and Central Government’s share of Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST) paid on purchase of specific raw food items by Charitable Religious Institutions for distributing free food to public shall be reimbursed as Financial Assistance by the Government of India. It envisages to reimburse the Central Government share of Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) and Integrated Goods and Service Tax (IGST) so as to lessen the financial burden of such Charitable Religious Institutions who provide Food/Prasad/Langar (Community Kitchen)/Bhandara free of cost without any discrimination to Public/Devotees. Free ‘Prasad’ or free food or free ‘langar’ / ‘Bhandara’ (community kitchen) offered by charitable religious institutions like Gurudwara, Temples, Dharmik Ashram, Mosques, Dargah, Church, Mutt, Monasteries etc. Financial Assistance will be provided on First-cum-First Serve basis of registration linked to funding available for the purpose in a Financial Year.
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The scheme is being implemented from 01.08.2018 with a total outlay of Rs. 325.00 Crores for Financial Years 2018-19 and 2019-20 Seva Bhoj Yojna.
The aim of Scheme:
The scheme aims to reimburse Central Government share of Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) and Integrated Goods and Service Tax (IGST) to lessen the financial burden of religious and charitable institutions providing food, Prasad, langar (Community Kitchen), Bhandara free of cost without any discrimination to public and devotee
Religious and charitable institutions such as temples, gurudwara, mosque, church, dharmik ashram, dargah, matth, monasteries etc. having existence for at least five years and serve free food to at least 5000 people in a month. Grant will be given to such institutions if they are covered under Section 10 (23BBA) of Income Tax (IT) Act or are institutions registered as Society under Societies Registration Act (XXI of 1860) or as Public Trust under any law for time being in force of statuary religious bodies or institutions registered under Section 12AA of IT Act. Ministry of Culture will register the eligible charitable religious institutions for a time period ending with finance commission period and subsequently the registration may be renewed by the Ministry, subject to the performance evaluation of the institutions. The details of registered institutions will be available on an online portal for the viewership of public, GST authorities and entity/institution itself. The entity/institution will be permitted to submit the reimbursement claim of the GST and Central Government share of IGST to the designated authority of GST Department at State level in the prescribed format during the validity of registration. It would be the responsibility of the institutions/entity to intimate the Ministry about any changes being made in Memorandum of Association, Office bearers or addition/deletion of the location of the free food services.
How can apply:
All the eligible institutions should be registered with Darpan portal. All applications along with supporting documents received from the institutions in the Ministry shall be examined by the committee constituted for the purpose within 4 weeks and on the basis of the recommendation of the committee, competent authority in the Ministry shall register charitable religious institutions for reimbursing claim of CGST and Central Government share of IGST paid on above mentioned specific items. Selection: All eligible religious and charitable institutions first must be registered with Darpan portal of NITI Aayog and get Unique ID generated by it. Thereafter, they shall enrol themselves in CSMS Portal on the Ministry of Culture’s website in a prescribed format. The applications will be examined by a committee constituted for the purpose. On basis of the recommendation of committee, competent authority in the Ministry of Culture will register these institutions for reimbursing claim of CGST and Central Government share of IGST paid on mentioned specific items.
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Product Came under Scheme:
The specific raw food items covered under the Scheme are-
- Edible Oil
These Charitable Religious Institutions should have been distributing free food in the form of ‘prasad’, ‘langar’/Bhandara (community kitchen) to at least 5000 persons in a calendar month for at least past 3 years. The proposed total budget outlay of the scheme for the financial year 2018-19 and 2019-20 is Rs. 150.00 crores and Rs. 175.00 crores respectively.
Who will monitor it?
The scheme guidelines also provided for inspection and monitoring by the Ministry Officials, District Collector/Deputy Commissioner and State (GST) Authorities. The Institutions/Organisations are required to maintain a separate account for assistance received under the scheme and this account can be inspected/audited by the officers of the Ministry or any other agency designated by the Ministry. Further, in case of misuse of funds, the scheme guidelines provide for penalties such as blacklisting the organisations, recovering the assistance provided by Ministry of Culture with penal interest apart from taking criminal action as per law.
Post GST regime, these organizations experienced the financial pressure to continue free food service. In the interest of lessening their financial burden, the Government has decided to reimburse the share of IGST and CGST on the purchase of raw food materials. The Government announced the financial outlay for the scheme to be ₹325 crore for the financial year.
Who can use it?
The religious or charitable institutions such as temples, gurudwaras, mosques, churches, dharmik ashram, dargah, matth, monasteries that have been in existence for at least three years before applying for financial assistance under the scheme will be eligible for getting benefits under the scheme. The Ministry will enrol the eligible religious and charitable institutions for a time period ending with the financial year 2019-20 and subsequently, the enrolment may be renewed by the Ministry, depending on the performance evaluation of the institutions.
Documents required for this scheme:
- Copy of the valid Registration Certificate
- Copy of Memorandum of Association/Article of Association/Charter of Activities of the organization.
- Copies of accounts audited for the last three years.
- Copies of Annual Report, if any, for previous three years.
- List of Office bearers/Governing Body of the institution.
Name of the authorized signatory who will sign all documents with contact details and e-mail id. Self-certificate indicating that the institution is distributing free food for at-least past three years on the day of application and providing free food to at least 5000 people in a month.
Other Facts of Schemes:
Under Seva Bhoj Yojana, the Ministry of Culture will enrol eligible trust/body for the given time period i.e., till 31.12.2020 and subsequent review/renewal is subject to the performance of the institutions.
- The eligible institutions will be required to first register with Darpan Portal of NITI Aayog and get a unique ID generated by it.
- Following this, all the applications along with supporting documents received from the institutions will be examined by a committee constituted for the purpose within 4 weeks.
- On the basis of the committee’s recommendations, the competent authority in the Culture Ministry shall register the charitable religious institutions for the purpose of reimbursing claim of CGST and Central Government share of IGST paid on prasad or Bhandara.
- The details of the registered institutions will be available on an online portal for the viewership of public, GST authorities and the institution itself.
This scheme will reduce product cost of Raw material and also make the cheapest charitable cost. In this way government actually served SEVA for social workers.
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