Govt keeping an eye on Sunburn


Goa government is keeping an eagle eye on Sunburn, Asia’s biggest music festival, this year after an HCN TV channel report pointed out that the authorities may have managed to collect only a fraction of the entertainment tax from the festival last year. The Commissioner of Commercial Taxes, S G Korgaonkar, has personally started monitoring the sale of tickets this year and said he has deployed a team of officers at the ticket counters to monitor sales.
Goa charges 15 per cent entertainment tax on the sale of tickets for any such event taking place in the State. The organizers said that last year’s Sunburn event had pulled in a crowd of nearly one lakh music lovers; with an average ticket for all three days priced at Rs 8000 last year, even a crowd of 90,000 would have earned a revenue of Rs 72 crore and the authorities ought to have collected entertainment tax of Rs 10.80 crore. However, only Rs 1.16 crore towards entertainment tax last year was collected, confirmed Korgaonkar.
This year, the average price of three-day ticket is Rs 8855. The organizers expect around 2.5 lakh people to attend the ongoing three-day music fiesta at Candolim. Sale of tickets to 2.5 lakh punters would mean revenue of Rs 221 crore and the entertainment tax due thus would be Rs 33.22 crore. Even if the crowd does not swell beyond one lakh, last year’s figure quoted by the organizers, the ticket revenue would be around Rs 88.55 crore and Goa should thus get tax revenue of at least Rs 13.28 crore.
After HCN reported the story of possible under-collections, the Commissioner of Commercial Taxes has increased the number of officers deployed at the venue with instructions to strictly monitor the sale of tickets.   [H]