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Minister Michael Lobo controlled panchayat withdraws tax on shooting





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Mapusa: Hours after State tourism minister Manohar Ajgaonkar, a village panchayat in North Goa on Thursday announced withdrawal of the tax imposed on clicking pictures and shooting videos in its jurisdiction.

Deliah Lobo, Sarpanch of village panchayat Parra, located near Mapusa town, told reporters that ‘Swachhta Tax’ imposed in the village panchayat has been withdrawn as of now.

The matter came to light on Wednesday after some Goa- based activists took to social media to highlight that the panchayat of Parra village, located about 9 km from Panaji, had started levying tax on clicking pictures or shooting videos in its jurisdiction.

A sign board put up prominently on the main road of the village reads: “Swacchta Tax/Mission Clean Parra Tax will be levied on all film shoots and photo shoots. Tax will vary for individuals and commercials.”

Taking serious note of it, Mr. Ajgaonkar on Thursday had said, “My department has not granted any permission for imposition of such a tax. We will inquire into this.”

“If every panchayat starts imposing its own taxes like this, it would be harmful for the State’s tourism potential,” the Minister said.

Within hours of the minister’s statement, Lobo announced that the panchayat has decided to withdraw the tax.

“The decision to impose tax was not to earn revenue but to bring in discipline on the road. The tourists were blocking the traffic and creating nuisance on the road,” Lobo said.

She said that the idea behind imposing tax was not to earn the revenue but to stop tourists from causing traffic jams on the road.

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