Party-pooper govt doubles licence fee


In a bid to improve revenue collection which has currently hit rock bottom due to suspension of mining activities and huge expenditure on various government subsidy schemes, the Manohar Parrikar regime has hiked by more than 100 percent the licence fee of ticketed parties where alcohol is served. 
All ticketed events or parties which charge entry fee will have to cough up between Rs 50,000 and Rs one lakh per day according to the two slabs. An amended notification issued by Additional Secretary (Finance) Michael D’Souza on November 23 states that events having guests between 501 and 1000 will have to pay Rs 50,000, while parties with 1001 guests and above, will have to pay Rs one lakh. 
Previously the fees were Rs 20,000 and Rs 40,000 respectively. “The charges will be imposed per party per day… The move is to increase the state revenue,” an excise official said.
The All Goa Liquor Traders Association has welcomed the decision stating that such organizers should be taxed. “This will bring some control over the unconsumed liquor that comes in the market from private parties,” Association president Dattaprasad Naik said. He explained that liquor companies usually sponsor such grand parties which mean the retailers have no role to play. “The liquor does not go to such parties and events from retailers,” he added. Some liquor businessmen are, however, unhappy as they feel government should be sympathetic towards this industry. 
“The liquor businessmen are otherwise paying various taxes, some of which were recently hiked including the value added tax. With this increase, the consumers will be pushed to pay more than the present rate,” former convener Goa Liquor Traders Association Barnabe Sapeco said.  A Calangute night club owner said that the tourists prefer Goa because of cheap liquor but the hikes will hamper their arrival. “We understand there is financial crisis, but liquor industry is also the biggest revenue generator of Goa. It has to be treated well,” he cautioned. [H]