Jalandhar diocese seeks cess relief on par with SGPC
The housing and urban development department, Punjab, is in a fix over the demand by diocese of Jalandhar seeking exemption from change of land use (CLU) cess, external development charges (EDC) and infrastructure development fund for the educational and health institutes it runs.
The Jalandhar diocese has taken up the issue with Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh, citing similar exemptions being given to Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Amritsar’s Durgiana mandir and Jalandhar’s Devi Talab temple.
After receiving the communique, the chief minister’s office referred the matter to the housing and urban development department. A department official on condition of anonymity said that they have not taken any decision so far, because granting exemption to the diocese may attract similar requests from other religious and social bodies.
The government apprehends that there are a number of deras in the state that run educational and health institutions as well.
Referring to a notification of 2012, which extended the benefit to the institutions run by SGPC, Durgiana Mandir and Devi Talab temple during the Akali-BJP government, the diocese said that they also run a number of schools, health centres and projects of social development in remote areas of the state. The diocese has submitted details of the social activities being carried by it to the government. As per the 2012 notification, the CM would take a call on grant exemptions.
“It is a sensitive issues, and we will take up the matter with the CM when he comes back from Israel. We will take the decision in the larger public interest,” said housing and urban minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa.
An housing department official said the CLU charges, EDC and cess are not heavy for educational and health institutions. “CLU charges are nominal, EDC is about ₹85,000 per acre in addition to a cess 5% on EDC and CLU,” he said.
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