Rajkot: Rides start wheeling at Janmashtami fair after govt exempts them from tax

The mechanised rides, one of the main attractions of the Janmashtami fair in the city, started wheeling as scheduled after local taxmen agreed to exempt their operators from entertainment tax on Thursday.

Ride operators had on Wednesday threatened to stop rides at Goras, the five-day Janmashtami fair organised every year by the Rajkot district administration, if the government did not exempt them from paying 20 entertainment tax on their ticket collection. But local tax officers had stuck to their demand of tax arguing that individual operators had set up more than one ride on different plots but on the same fairground and therefore their effective ticket rates would exceed the exemption limit of Rs 20 and Rs 10.

“We also requested Water Supply Minister Vijay Rupani to look into our demand when he came to inaugurate the fair this morning. Eventually, tax officers told us that we shall not require to pay tax and therefore we started operating rides as the fair began,” Zakir Bloch, secretary of Gujarat Amusement Association, a body of mechnised rides operators of Gujarat, said.

There are 54 mechanised rides at the fairground on Race Course. Operators had approached tax officers on Thursday with a recent resolution of the state government exempting them from entertainment tax. However, taxmen differed in their interpretation of the definition of plots for rides and fairground and said that those operators who had more than one ride in the same fair were liable for tax.

“We had sought guidance from the state government and we have been told that ride operators are exempted from tax. But we have been asked to ensure that ticket rates do not exceed Rs10 and Rs20 (for minor and adult respectively),” Harshad Vora, resident additional collector of Rajkot said.

Article source: http://indianexpress.com/article/india/gujarat/rajkot-rides-start-wheeling-at-janmashtami-fair-after-govt-exempts-them-from-tax/

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