Prelims level : Seva Bhoj Yojna’- features Mains level : GST and its implications, issues associated and reforms to resolve them
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Why in News?

  • Union Ministry of Culture has launched- ‘Seva Bhoj Yojna’– a scheme to reimburse central share of CGST and IGST on food, prasad, langar or bhandara offered by religious and charitable institutions.
  • The ‘Seva Bhoj Yojna’ has a total outlay of Rs 325.00 crore for financial years 2018-19 and 2019-20

Key Highlights

  • The scheme will compensate the religious and charitable institutions of the Central Government share of the Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) and Integrated Goods and Service Tax (IGST)
  • It mainly aims to lessen the financial burden on religious and charitable bodies that provide food, prasad, langar and bhandara free-of-cost without any discrimination to the public.
  • The religious or charitable institutions such as temples, gurudwaras, mosques, churches, dharmik ashram, dargah, matth, monasteries that have been in existence for at least three years before applying for financial assistance under the scheme will be eligible for getting benefits under the scheme.
  • The Ministry will enroll the eligible religious and charitable institutions for a time period ending with the financial year 2019-20 and subsequently, the enrolment may be renewed by the Ministry, depending on the performance evaluation of the institutions.


  • The charitable religious institutions including temples, gurudwara, mosque, church, dharmik ashram, dargah, monasteries, which fulfill the following criteria are eligible for the grant:
  • The institutions that have been in existence for at least five years before applying for financial assistance/grant.
  • The institutions that serve free food to at least 5000 people in a month.
  • The institutions covered under Section 10 (23BBA) of the Income Tax Act or those registered as Society under Societies Registration Act (XXI of 1860) or as a Public Trust under any law for the time being in force of statuary religious bodies constituted under any Act or institutions registered under Section 12AA of Income Tax Act.

Selection criteria:

  • All Eligible religious and charitable institutions first must register with Darpan portal of NITI Aayog and get Unique ID generated by it.
  • Thereafter, they shall enroll themselves in CSMS Portal on the Ministry of Culture’s website in prescribed format. The applications will be examined by committee constituted for purpose.
  • On basis of recommendation of committee, competent authority in Ministry of Culture will register these institutions for reimbursing claim of CGST and Central Government share of IGST paid on mentioned specific items.
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