Budget 2024 Hope 11 lakh soldiers paramilitary forces shattered CAPF canteen not get 50 percent GST exemption

New Delhi. The hopes of 11 lakh soldiers of central paramilitary forces have been dashed in the interim budget. 50 percent GST on CAPF canteen products was not announced in the Finance Minister’s announcement. The Confederation of Ex-Paramilitary Forces Martyrs Welfare Association had demanded from Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to give 50 percent GST exemption on CAPF canteen products in the interim budget. At present, the household budget of 20 lakh paramilitary families is deteriorating due to GST tax on CPC canteens. For many years, the association had been demanding that 50 percent exemption in GST be given on the products available in CAPF canteens on the lines of Army canteens.

Association officials say that GST exemption is available on the products of Army’s CSD canteen. On similar lines, a demand was made to give 50 percent discount on the products of the canteen of central paramilitary forces. Central Police Canteen (CPC) was established on 26 September 2006 for the families of CAPFs. Its objective was to provide household items to the soldiers at cheaper than market rates. Before the CPC canteen came into existence, items for household use were purchased by security forces units from the Army’s CSD canteen. There are approximately 119 master canteens and 1778 CPC canteens in different states across the country. Central Paramilitary Force personnel do not get any exemption in GST on CPC canteen items. As a result, if the items available from here are purchased from somewhere else at wholesale rates, then there is no difference between the canteen and market rates.

According to Ranbir Singh, General Secretary of the Association, the name of CPC Canteen has been changed to Kendriya Police Kalyan Bhandar. Prime Minister Modi had given the slogan of Vocal for Local in 2020. Its effect was visible on the CPC canteen. On the orders of the Union Home Ministry, emphasis was given on the use of indigenous items in the Central Police Kalyan Bhandar canteens from June 1, 2020. Before the implementation of GST, states like Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, Manipur, Meghalaya, Haryana, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu, Orissa and Kerala had given exemption from Value Added Tax (VAT) on the items available in CPC canteens. After the implementation of GST, there was talk of cooperation in the budget as a relief. There was no relief after this. GST implemented on canteen items.

Due to non-availability of GST exemption on canteen items, the household budget of about 20 lakh paramilitary families has been disrupted. Along with SPG and NSG, lakhs of civil police families of the states have also been affected. A delegation of the association met Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on 14 November 2019 and submitted a memorandum to her to give 50 percent GST rebate on CPC canteens. A letter was written to the then Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to give 50 percent GST exemption on the products of CPC canteen on the lines of CSD canteen, after this no exemption could be given.


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