Citing the bankrupt condition of the state government exchequer, the opposition parties have demanded the ban on EDM festivals in Goa. They said unless the organizers pay the tax dues that are pending for more than two years the festival will not be allowed in the state. Organizers, on the other hand, claimed that they are the law abiding citizens and just following the proper procedures.
According to the sources, the organizers of the EDM festivals had not deposited their tax dues into the government treasury for past two years. Sunburn and Supersonic both the world-famous EDM festivals are scheduled to be held in north Goa from 27 – 30 December. The actions in regards to the ban on the EDM festivals have been initiated by the Congress and NCP. They have demanded the recovery of the tax dues from both the EDM festivals since the state is facing the huge financial crunch.
The NCP spokesperson Trajano D’mello has demanded that the EDM festival should not be allowed by the ruling government in the state until all the dues are cleared by the organizers, “Government is determined to recover the tax money from organizers,” said D’mello.
Mr. D’mello also raised the concern over this issue stating that how the government allowed the organizers to get away without paying the taxes for last two years. “It is the tax payer’s money and the government should have recovered it much earlier since the state treasury is almost empty,” he said.
D’mello also brought to the light the sum of the amount which is due from the organizers, “Together organizers owe around 3 crore rupees to the state exchequer,” claimed Mr. D’mello. The Congress on other hand targeted the policy of the present government claiming that “When the currently ruling government was sitting in the opposition, these festivals were against the “Indian culture” and place to “promote the drugs” but now they are only allowing the activities once they opposed,” said the Chief of GPCC women’s wing committee Sunita Vernerkar.
Ms. Vernekar also raised the concerned over the safety of the youths and music enthusiast visiting the 4 days music extravaganza. “The government should ensure the safety of the youths who are visiting the (festival) venues,” she said.
Meanwhile, the tourism minister Dilip Parulekar has supported the statement of the opposition saying that their government is determined to recover the tax dues from the organizers of the EDM festivals. According to him, their government is waiting to do the assessment of the dues and once that is done the taxes will be collected from the organizers. “We are not lacking behind in the recovery at all, in fact, we are following the proper procedures. It is wrong to blame the government for the nonrecovery of taxes,” he said.
The Joint MD of the percept company also sung into the same tune saying that they are following the process of law. Reacting to the ban demand, Shailendra Singh, Joint Managing Director, Percept which hosts Sunburn Goa, said they are following the process of law. “We are the law abiding citizens of India and we are following the proper process and going by the rules and regulations set down by the government,” he said. The Supersonic organizers had decided to stay away from commenting anything on this at the moment.
It is really surprising that government indeed waited for two years without taking any action into the matter of tax dues from the organizers of EDM festivals allowing them to perform in the state consecutively for two years. What is that process which takes two years of time to decide? Does the matter raised by the opposition is of major concern? There is no doubt that present government is debt ridden? Please do leave your comments and suggestions here.