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Punjab plans to levy lumpsum tax on marriage palaces
September, 04th 2013

After tightening noose around tax evading sectors, including yarn and plywood, Punjab Excise and Taxation Department has now plans to mobilise more revenue from marriage palaces by charging them lumpsum tax.

"We are working out on a proposal for levying lumpsum tax on marriage palaces as we have observed heavy evasion of tax by some of these palaces by understating their income," a senior official of the Department said here.

With the levy of lumpsum tax, the Department expects its revenue from marriage palaces to shoot up from Rs 40 crore last fiscal to Rs 100 crore per annum.

"Our intention is that the revenue from marriage palaces should touch at least Rs 100 crore mark," official said.

Under this proposal, the department will be creating different slabs of rent starting from Rs 25,000 in order to calculate tax on the palaces.

After preparing the proposal, the department will send it to Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal who also holds excise and taxation portfoilo for approval.

The Department had even conducted sting operations by sending decoy customers to a few marriage palaces to know actual price being charged from customers for holding marriage functions.

"During sting operations, it was found marriage palaces were in the habit of underbilling in order to lessen tax burden," official informed, adding that there was difference between the price they charged and the price they recorded on the bill.

There are around 1,460 marriage palaces in Punjab and currently, they are paying luxury tax, Value Added Tax and excise on liquor to the excise and taxation department.

Punjab government has already been facing facing stiff opposition from trade and industry for implementing E-Trip system on six commodities including cotton, mustard, plywood, iron & steel (excluding scrap), yarn and vegetable oil (edible and non-edible) under E-Trip to check evasion.

The Department expects to mobilise Rs 200-250 crore an additional revenue with the implementation of E-Trip system.

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