11 Jul 2024  |   06:56am IST

GCCI raises concern over steep hike in house tax

Chamber requests minister to withdraw hike or increase it to the minimum extent possible; says there is no set uniform methodology to compute tax; rates vary from panchayat to panchayat

Team Herald

PANJIM: The Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) has urged the Minister of Industries and Panchayats Mauvin Godinho to withdraw the steep hike in house tax or increase it to the minimum extent possible.

The GCCI had earlier written to the Director of Panchayats to reconsider and revise the hike in panchayat tax on industry to reasonable levels. But since there has been no response, it has now written to the Minister of Industries and Panchayat, for his intervention in this matter.

Taking advantage of the notification dated 17/02/2022, some of the village panchayats had already hiked the house tax many fold and there was every possibility that remaining panchayats will also follow the suit. 

The government has hiked the house tax to industry from Rs 12 per square metre to Rs 200 per square metre. The hike in house tax to various properties is in the range from five times to 100 times. Further the village panchayats have been given free hand to charge the house tax as per their whims and fancies. 

There is no set uniform methodology to compute the tax as such rates vary from panchayat to panchayat case wise, it said.

Similar increase has been made on other heads. For example, tax on entertainment has been hiked from Rs 20 to Rs 2,000, advertisement hoardings from Rs 5 to Rs 500 per month etc. The increase is as high as 100 times in some cases, the Chamber said.

The Covid 19 pandemic, which lasted for more than two years since December 2019 led to closure of many businesses. Many are still struggling to come to the terms and reach to the pre-pandemic stage. The businesses have also been taxed by way of many other levies. The daily wages of industrial workers were also hiked.

The GCCI stated that the Goan industry is the maximum employment generator in the State. The survival of the employed people depends on the survival of industry. Therefore this sector is the one which needs to be taxed minimum possible and offered incentives to survive and grow.

Considering this, the Chamber has requested the Minister of Industries and Panchayats to withdraw the steep hike in house tax or increase it to the minimum extent possible. 

IDhar UDHAR

Idhar Udhar