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New tax policy in state: Fees introduced for cultural and political events

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HT Bureau

 

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GUWAHATI, Nov 22: The Assam government has recently implemented a new tax policy, introducing fees for organizing a range of events, including cultural functions, political rallies, and various other activities. The policy outlines varied amounts that individuals and organizations are required to pay based on the nature of the event they plan to organise.

Under the new policy, cultural events, including Bihu functions, will incur a permission fee of Rs 300. Political rallies, events, and meetings, as well as sports events, will be subjected to a fee of Rs 2,000. Street plays, awareness rallies, and similar events will face a fee of Rs 500, while organizing trade fairs, food fairs, and expos will require a payment of Rs 5,000.

Additionally, there is a fee of Rs 10,000 for opening petrol pumps and gas agencies. Verification processes, including workers’ verification, rented accommodation verification, and PG accommodation verification, will range from Rs 300 to Rs 500. For commercial construction projects, a police clearance fee of Rs 50,000 is set for the Guwahati Municipal Development Authority (GMDA) area, and Rs 25,000 for projects in the rest of the state.

The Assam Governor defended the new tax policy, citing the need to cover the costs incurred by the Assam Police in providing services through the Assam Police Citizens Service Portal, also known as Assam Police Sewa Setu.

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While the fees and charges are aligned with Section 4 of the Assam Right to Public Services (Amendment) Act, 2019, which establishes the framework for the revised tax and fee system, the announcement has sparked criticism on social media. Concerns have been raised about the potential financial burden on individuals and organizations, especially given that the Assam Police is already funded by the state government.

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