Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday ridiculed Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal over the langar GST controversy and accused her of unnecessarily dragging the issue without having the proper knowledge.
After Harsimrat demanded the immediate release of Rs 3.27 crore to the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabhandak Committee from state’s share, Singh asked her, “Do you have even a clue as to what you are saying?”
Describing her spate of tweets as “frivolous and senseless”, Singh said, “Harsimrat had stooped to a new low with regard to this vital religious issue, which she was persistently exploiting to promote Akali interests, in line with her party’s policies.”
Pointing out that the langar GST concession was notified by the central government on August 1, 2018, the Chief Minister said, “Since the notification, my government had received only four bills from SGPC, amounting to Rs 1.96 crore. On Tuesday, we have cleared every single penny of these claims.”
Giving further details, the Chief Minister said that the remaining bills which amounted to around Rs 1.68 crore, pertained to the period prior to the launch of the Seva Bhoj Yojana, under which the Centre had waived off the GST on Langar.
“These bills related to the period August 1, 2017, to July 31, 2018, for which no notification/circulation was issued by the central government,” he said.
In sharp contrast to the state government’s dexterity and sincerity in the matter, the central government had not even failed to verify all the Rs 1.96 crore in claims so far but had paid up only Rs 57 lakhs of the Rs 1.16 crore it had succeeded in verifying, the Chief Minister said.
He also lambasted Harsimrat for her failure to push for clearance of pending dues by the central government, which had released a mere Rs 57 lakhs so far against its share of the pending claims.