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HindustanTimes Thu,25 Dec 2014

'Entry tax in Goa likely to keep off domestic tourists'

PTI  Panaji, April 20, 2013
First Published: 14:15 IST(20/4/2013) | Last Updated: 14:19 IST(20/4/2013)

Congress MP Fransisco Sardinha on Saturday expressed fears that imposition of entry tax on Goa borders may prove detrimental for growth of tourism industry in the state, as these charges might shoo away domestic visitors.

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"Tourists don't come here out of love for Goa. They come here because there is Sun and Sand. If you start charging them on the borders, they will go somewhere else," the MP from South Goa Constituency told reporters in Pnaji.

Sardinha, however, said the Congress party is yet to take a formal stand on the issue of entry tax.

The MP said if Goa government wants to collect money from tourists, they can do it through other sources like imposition of value added tax (VAT) on purchases by tourists.

"Nowhere in India exists such an entry tax," he said.

Sardinha said that the state is already witnessing high prices of vegetables as traders from Belgaum and Kolhapur have decided to shut down supplies to Goa.

Both these places are traditional markets for Goa to purchase commodities like vegetables, milk and grocery.

"Goa is not a producing state. We have to import everything from outside,? he said, adding that the state cannot afford to intimidate the traders.

The state government began charging entry tax for the vehicles entering from other Indian states since April 15 onwards.

Goa expects to collect Rs. 100 crore annually from the tax collection.


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