If you live in a hotel which charges Rs 200 a day in Punjab,you are certainly a rich person as per the state Excise and Taxation Department. Reason: The luxury tax in hotels has now been started from Rs 200 onwards and that too has been hiked from the earlier 4 to 8 per cent. This tax in tourist places such as Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir,however,starts from a hotel room rent of Rs 1,000 onwards.
This tax was introduced by Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal last year from Rs 200 onwards at 4 per cent and within one year it has been increased to 8 per cent. Normally,dormitory charges are Rs 200 a day in hotels. So a person really needs to shell out the 8 per cent luxury tax as well.
Under the list of new taxes,the luxury tax has also come from a secret gate and hotel,restaurants and marriage palace owners have now been asked to start paying additional tax. Amarvir Singh,general secretary of the Hotel and Restaurant Association,said,Punjab is not a tourist place and the average occupancy of hotels is 32 per cent and if the tax is increased,it will ultimately be passed on to the consumers only. This will further increase inflation and cause a dip in hotel occupancy.
He added,We already pay a house tax,commercial rates of electricity (although industrial rates have been demanded),14.3 per cent VAT,income tax and much more. Out of earning of Rs 100,we are already giving Rs 53.3 as tax to the government. So what else does the Government now want?
The Association has already had one meeting with the Deputy Chief Minister and another meeting is now scheduled on September 14,at which Excise and Taxation Commissioner A Venuprasad too will be coming along with other tax officials.
Association President Manjit Nagpal said,As per VAT rules,not more than 13 per cent tax can be charged. Now our tax has already reached 13 per cent after the 0.5 per cent hike. With a surcharge tax,it has become 14.3 per cent. Last year in September 2011 Sukhbir Singh Badal had promised to reduce VAT to 4 per cent. Instead of fulfilling his promise,he has added many taxes on us.