Monday 18 February 2019

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Economy | Finance

More taxes inevitable ?

 

Following hike in excise duty on imported Indian Made Foreign Liquor and beer, Goa is thinking of introducing few more taxation measures like professional tax and entertainment tax to overcome the acute resource crunch it is facing.

Chief minister Dr Wilfred de Souza, heading a coalition government supported by the BJP from outside, is trying hard to get a grant of Rs 150 crore from the centre to arrest the problems the tourist state is confronting due to implementation of the fifth pay commission recommendations.

But the problems would continue despite these grants, states finance secretary Vivek Ray, for which widening its existing tax base would be inevitable. Goa's revenue earnings are presently fully restricted to three sectors - mining, tourism and industry.

As suggested by the planning commission, the bureaucrats have suggested to the coalition government to introduce new measures of resource mobilisation. Though it would actually materialise in the next budget, plans could be chalked out only if the cabinet approves it.

As the service industry is growing here rapidly, the tourist state is also planning to impose professional tax here, on the lines of Karnataka and Maharashtra. The powers of collection however may be given to municipalities and panchayats, says Ray.

He also feels need to review its policy on entertainment tax, which is presently restricted to movies and video shows. Considering the growing potential in the tourist state to several other ticketed shows for entertainment, the plan is to bring it under the taxation cover.

The plan is to also impose ad-valorem excise duty for quality brands of liquor, whether imported or manufactured locally, while also applying the same criteria for tax collection on vehicles. Goa, incidentally, is an attraction for liquor consumption as well as purchase of vehicles, due to less amount of taxes.

The state government has also pleaded with the centre to withdraw the tax holiday schemes for all the states since Goa has also become a "victim" of such a five-year tax holiday, which has been now extended further, in order to attract industries here. Goa is roughly losing around Rs 50 crore annually, informs Ray, due to the tax holiday scheme.






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