PUDUCHERRY: The Puducherry government had proposed tough action against those hosting banned dances at parties organised as part of New year revelry as well as tax evasion by them.
The Puducherry Municipal commissioner has cautioned the hosts of such parties of cancellation of licence, while advising people to conduct themselves within the limits of culture and tradition and not disturb or abuse others participating in New Year revelry as well as disrupt traffic, while ensuring cleanliness.
In a bid to prevent the loss of revenue to municipalities by tax evasion during new year revelry, Puducherry Municipality has cautioned all hosts of such parties from 10 pm on December 31 to 1 am on Jan 1 to obtain license by paying the requisite fee and compounded entertainment tax prior to the event. Besides the hosts are also required to obtain Excise license, approval from District Magistrate cum District Collector, Fire service and Superintendent of Police prior to the hosting of the event and submit with the application for obtaining Municipal license, he said.
Even though Puducherry is witnessing an increasing number of parties hosted by hotels, restaurants and others as part of New Year Revelry over the years, party revellers have been evading the Entertainment tax and license fee. There has also been reports of hosting of obscene dances at some hotels to draw revelers.
Lt Governor Kiran Bedi said that people would be encouraged to report on a WhatsApp number, the tax evasion by the hosts of such events and promised to keep confidential the names of information givers.
Stating that tough action will be taken against evaders, she said that the government would be deploying decoys from citizen groups, volunteers to detect entertainment tax evasion this year.
Hence everyone is requested to follow the law, she said. Secretary Local Administration Department has been directed to immediately gear up municipalities staff and squads to detect. Police too will help. Any interference from any vested interest will be made public. She also directed the senior officials to issue enforcement order demarcating the areas for each official to be responsible for enforcement. The secretary Local Administration would be overall head of the enforcement and could take assistance from any department required.
On the other hand, the existing system of levying an Entertainment tax of 40 percent of the collections from tickets sold has been done away with, since it was difficult for Municipalities to check the tickets sold and collect the exact revenue. Instead, a compounded Entertainment Tax would be levied as done last year, irrespective of the number of tickets sold, to tap the revenue. The quantum of entertainment tax and the License fee would be decided in a day or two, said Puducherry Municipal Commissioner S Ganessin. " The proposal has been put up to the government for approval", he said. Last year, License fee of Rs 5000 to Rs 10,000 for hosting the party and compounded entertainment tax of Rs 5000 were levied for those hosting cultural events.
Special squads have been constituted which will go and inspect and take penal action if violations are found including cancel the licence, said the commissioner.