09 Nov 2018 05:49am IST
Adamant on not paying 25 per cent tax levied on ‘complimentary tickets’
PANJIM: Celebrations to usher in the New Year along the coastal belt will probably be a low-key affair this year as no Electronic Dance Music (EDM) has so far shown interest to host its show on Goan beaches; there is something else stored for the State. After quitting Goa for three consecutive years, organisers of Sunburn festival are contemplating legal recourse to address pending disputes with the Goa government.
The organisers, though wishing for a comeback, are unhappy that the government has not responded to several representations seeking to settle issues like tax on complimentary passes and charges for police bandobast in and around the festival venue.
“We have tried everything to resolve issues between us and the government. We have made ample number of representations to the Chief Minister, Tourism Minister and the Secretary but there is no reply from them. Our proposal for a meeting with those in the government has also fetched no result. As such, we might take legal recourse to address this impasse,” one of the organising members of Percept Live, Sunburn EDM, told Herald.
The organisers are adamant on not paying 25 per cent tax levied on ‘complimentary tickets’ imposed by the government. It has also expressed disappointment over sudden four-fold increase of fees charged by Goa Police for providing bandobast, without notice. “Why should we pay tax on tickets taken forcibly from us? Large number of free tickets were taken from us, so why should we pay tax on it? These are not complimentary tickets issues by us voluntarily. Moreover, if we had been paying police bandobast charges of approx Rs 20 lakh a year till 2012 year, how did that change to Rs one crore without notice?” he sought to know.
Herald contacted a senior police officer, who confirmed that Sunburn organisers have not paid their dues of 3-4 years to the department.
Sunburn held its first international EDM on Candolim beach to later shift its venue to Vagator. The festival was shifted out of Goa, to Pune in 2016. This year will be its third edition in Pune. However, Percept Live Chairman and Managiing Director Harinder Singh reiterated they want to be back in Goa but not until the issues are resolved. “Goa is our home. Sunburn is incomplete without Goa. We feel unhappy to be out of Goa but we also want that our issues be resolved. We want to be back in the coastal State,” he said declining to divulge if the company will seek legal opinion on the issue. “We hope our issues are resolved at the earliest,” he said.
The government is also firm on recovery dues from some organisers. Tourism Minister Manohar Azgaonkar said they welcome EDMs to Goa subject to clearance of their dues. “We welcome EDMs to Goa because we need music, dance and songs. But the organisers should clear their dues first,” he said speaking to Herald. The minister confirmed that they have not received any proposal for hosting EDM in the State this year.