‘Reminds of tax during Mughal rule’: AAP MP demands rollback of GST on 'Sarais'

Published on Aug 04, 2022 02:07 PM IST

AAP MP Raghav Chadha gave a suspension of business notice in Rajya Sabha to discuss the imposition of 12% GST on 'Sarais' around Golden Temple and demanded a discussion on it.

AAP MP Raghav Chadha met Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman.(ANI)
AAP MP Raghav Chadha met Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman.(ANI)

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MP Raghav Chadha on Thusday met Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman demanding rollback of Goods and Services Tax on 'Sarais' meant for devotees visiting Shri Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple) in Amritsar, Punjab. The GST Council's decision to categorise all ‘sarais’ (inns), which charge a tariff from the devotees for accommodation, same as hotels or guest houses has drawn criticism from Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) and the Punjab government. 

Earlier, the hotels, guest houses and ‘sarais’ which charged up to 1,000 per for 24 hours stay were exempted from the GST but the new notification has done away with the exemption. All paid ‘sarais’ have now come under the GST ambit, irrespective of the amount of the tariff, location, worship place or faith.

Chadha compared the GST on Sarais with the ‘jizya tax’ paid by non-Muslim populations during Mughal rule.

“I met FM Sitharaman today to demand rollback of 12% GST imposition on 'Sarais' meant for devotees coming to Golden Temple, Amritsar. This tax reminds us of the 'Razia tax' imposed during the Mughal era, (sic)” Chadha said, adding that he has also demanded a financial package for Punjab.

Earlier today, Chadha gave a suspension of business notice in Rajya Sabha to discuss the imposition of 12% GST on 'Sarais' around Golden Temple and demanded a discussion on it. 

In a letter to the Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu, the AAP leader wrote, "I hereby give notice under Rule 267 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Council of States (Rajya Sabha) of my intention to move the motion for suspension of business listed for August 3, 2022."

"That this house do suspend Zero Hour and other relevant rules relating to Question Hour and other businesses of the day to have a discussion on the imposition of 12 per cent GST on Sarai's around Shri Harmandir Sahab (Golden Temple) in Amritsar," he said.

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