In an attempt to increase its revenue in view of the global meltdown, Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is toying with the idea of charging octroi on the sales tax returns of gold. According to the present system, two and a half per cent octroi is charged on the value of gold. The jewellers are also in favour of this plan and deny any scaling up of gold prices and thus not have any adverse impact on gold buyers.
Municipal commissioner Praveensinh Pardeshi on Tuesday held a meeting with jewellers and octroi chief to tap additional sources of income. Later, while talking to media, he said, In order to enhance PMC's revenue, in the wake of the global economic crisis, we are trying to tap more sources of income. The amount of octroi generation through gold is just Rs 1.5 crore at present. But considering the business in Pune, the octroi collection should ideally touch Rs 8-10 crore, which is not happening due to a number of hitches.
Hence, we are now planning to levy octroi on the sales tax returns of gold submitted by jewellers. Gold traders should pay money in lieu with the sales tax returns. However, we are just thinking in that direction and nothing has been finalised. Once we draw up a proposal, we will table it before the civic standing committee for approval, he said.
Supporting this move, Fatehchand Ranka of Pune Jewellers Association said, "If it materialises, it will be a very positive move. This kind of system will be beneficial to both- PMC as well as jewellers. Through this system, PMC will be able to generate ten times more revenue than the present practice. This additional money could then be utilised for the development of city." He added that this system would also reduce risks for gold traders.
Civic octroi chief K C Karkar said, "At present, we charge 2.5 per cent octroi on the value of gold. But as per the new consideration, octroi will be charged on the Value Added Tax (Vat) returns of gold sales. This will bring in a lot more transparency and better revenue for PMC."
Apart from the gold items, PMC is also planning to charge the telecom and other public utilities money in the form of royalty for the usage of land for the laying cables. "At present we charge only for excavation for laying cables. Now, we are considering charging money from these utilities for utilising our space."
The PMC is also planning to raise the charges for advertising hoardings within the PMC limits.