Important Topic: Seva Bhoj Yojna Scheme

Important Topics for Competitive Exams


Important Topic

The Union Ministry of Culture has launched Seva Bhoj Yojna, a new scheme to provide financial assistance on 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) charged on the raw food materials purchased by the religious institutions will be refunded.

Current Perspective

  • A new scheme 'Service Bhoj Yojana' has been started by the Ministry of Culture of the Government of India.
  • The total outlay for the plan for the financial year 2018-19 and 2019-20 will be Rs. 325 crore.This is a central area plan.

Objective: Under the scheme 'Charitable Religious Institutions' by the Government of India for the distribution of free food to the people, central government and service tax (CGST) and the Central Government portion of the integrated goods and service tax (IGST) paid on the purchase of specific unrefined food items. Reimbursement will be done in the form of financial assistance.

Features

The scheme is meant for reimbursement of the central item and service tax paid on the purchase of specific unrefined food items by religious institutions and the central government's share of the integrated goods and services tax to provide free food to the individuals / devotees.

  • This scheme will be applicable only for eligible institutions under the scheme.
  • Under the scheme, free offerings / free food / anchors / bhandara will be supported by gurudwara, temple, religious ashram, mosque, dargah, church, monastery, vihar etc.
  • Financial assistance under the scheme will be given in the financial year for the first time on the basis of 'first come first' basis for this purpose.
  • Financial support as reimbursement will be provided by Religious Institutions for Ghee, edible oil, sugar / turmeric / jaggery, rice, flour / flour / semolina / semolina and pulses for goods and services tax paid.
  • The maximum limit of central share of central commodity and service tax and part of the central government's share of the integrated goods and services tax to be reimbursed on purchases in the financial year 2018-19 will be 10 percent of the financial year 2018-19.

Criteria for Financial Assistance

The following institutions will be included in the eligible institutions for financial assistance under the Service Bheja Scheme.

  • Public trust or society or corporation body or organization or institution covered under the provisions of section 10 (23BBA) registered under the provisions of Section 12AA of Income Tax Act, 1961 for religious and charitable purposes or under section 10 (23BBA) of the Income Tax Act, 1961; a company formed and registered under the provisions of section 8 of the Companies Act, 1956 for the religious and charitable purposes, or Section 8 of the Companies Act, 2013; Or Society registered for religious and charitable purposes under Societies Registration Act, 1860.
  • It is mandatory for the above mentioned institutions to be involved in both religious and charitable activities for the free and altruistic distribution of food / offerings / anchors / Bhandara.
  • Institutions distributing free meals, offerings and anchors for the last three years from the day of application will be eligible for financial assistance.
  • Institutions have to provide free food to minimum 5000 persons in a calendar month.


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