‘Seva Bhoj Yojna’ is a Central Sector Scheme of the Ministry of Culture, 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.
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.
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.
Type of activities supported under the scheme
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 fund available for the purpose in a Financial Year.
Quantum of assistance
Financial Assistance in the form of reimbursement shall be provided where the institution has already paid GST on all or any of the raw food items listed below :
- Edible oil
- Sugar / Burra / Jaggery
- Atta / Maida / Rava /Flour
The total amount of CGST and Central Government’s share of IGST that would be reimbursed on purchases in the Financial Year 2019-20 will be capped at a maximum of 10% of the current financial year i.e. 2018-19.
Criteria for financial assistance
- A Public Trust or society or body corporate, or organisation or institution covered under the provisions of section 10 (23BBA) of the Income Tax Act, 1961 (as amended from time to time) or registered under the provisions of section 12AA of the Income Tax Act, 1961, for religious and charitable purposes, or a company formed and registered under the provisions of section 8 of the Companies Act, 2013 or section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956, as the case may be, for religious and charitable purposes, or a Public Trust registered as such for religious and charitable purposes under any Law for the time being in force, or a society registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860, for religious and charitable purposes.
- The applicant Public Trust or society or body corporate, or organisation or institution, as the case may be, must be involved in both religious and charitable activities by way of free and philanthropic distribution of food/prasad/ langar (Community Kitchen) / bhandara free of cost and without discrimination through the modus of public, religious and charitable trusts or endowments including mutts, temples, gurdwaras, wakfs, churches, synagogues, agiaries or other places of public religious worship.
- The institutions/organizations should have been in existence for preceding three years before applying for assistance.
- Only those institutions would be eligible for financial assistance which have been distributing free food, langar and prasad to public for at-least past three years on the day of application. For this purpose, entities shall furnish a self-certificate.
- Financial Assistance under the scheme shall be given only to those institutions which are not in receipt any Financial Assistance from the Central /State Government for the purpose of distributing free food: self-certificate
- The institutions shall serve free food to at least 5000 people in a calendar month.
- The Institution/Organization blacklisted under the provisions of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) or under the provisions of any Act/Rules of the Central/State Government shall not be eligible for Financial Assistance under the Scheme.
Procedure for enrolment
There shall be one time enrolment for eligible Religious institutions who apply under ‘Seva Bhoj Yojna Scheme’. The Ministry of Culture will enrol eligible Religious Institutions for a time period ending with Finance Commission period i.e. till 31.3.2020 and subsequently the enrolment may be reviewed/ renewed by the Ministry, subject to the performance evaluation of the institutions.
Religious institution shall first register with Darpan Portal of NITI Aayog and get Unique ID generated by Darpan Portal (if not already obtained).
Thereafter, the institution shall enrol itself in CSMS Portal of the Ministry of Culture in a prescribed format. Thereafter, the Religious institution shall apply “online” in the prescribed application form and upload required documents as listed below in CSMS Portal of Ministry of Culture :-
- Copy of the valid Registration Certificate as per the provision contained in Para 6 (i)and (ii).
- Copy of Memorandum of Association/Article of Association/Charter of Activities of the organisation.
- Copies of Audited Accounts for the last three years.
- Copies of Annual Report, if any, for last 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.
- Certificate from District Magistrate indicating that the institution is involved in charitable religious activities and is distributing free food to public/devotees etc. since last three years atleast on daily/monthly basis.
- PAN/ TAN Number of the institution/ organization.
- List of locations where free food is being distributed by the institution.
- Number of persons being served free food by the Institution in previous year-self declaration.
- Bank Authorization Letter as per prescribed format.
To access the complete scheme guidelines, click here.
Source : Ministry of Culture