Thu, 19 Sep, 2019

Poor tourism season forces Calangute p’yat not to hike taxes, waive off light tax

21st January 2019, 03:49 Hrs

the goan I network

MAPUSA  

On account of lackluster tourism season, Calangute panchayat has decided not to hike any tax even as the 2019-20 panchayat budget was passed unanimously by the gram sabha on Sunday.  

The panchayat also decided to waive off “light tax” imposed on various hotels and traders in the coastal village for the financial year.  

“For the first time we decided not to increase any taxes due to drop in tourism. The season was not very good and we did not want to tax our local businesses,” said Shawn Martins while presenting the budget for 2019-20.  

Normally, every year the panchayat used to increase trade and garbage tax by 10 percent to mop up additional revenue.  

Light tax of Rs 100 per room per annum for hotels/guesthouses and Rs 200 per annum for every business establishment has also been erased.  

The tractor service provided by the panchayat for a fee has been made free in the budget to encourage and motivate local farmers to cultivate more land.  

The panchayat has decided to hire traffic wardens to regulate traffic at key junctions and provision for expenditure has been made in the budget.  

“Traffic wardens will be placed at main junctions that witnesses most of the traffic jams,” the sarpanch said.  

In another decision the panchayat has decided to hire security guards to oversee key junctions in order to avoid the menace of touts and prostitution.  

The sarpanch said that since no taxes were increased the panchayat would focus on collection of arrears to mop up revenue for the financial year.  

“Our main focus will be to target defaulters. We are going to have a drive and target all those who have not paid taxes for last so many years,” he said.