HERE’S SOME bad news for stall owners at the Lucknow Mahotsava. The Stamps and Registration department here has decided to slap notices on them for not paying tax on the purchase of stalls/space at the mahotsava.
“Section 17 of the Stamps Act provides that an agreement to sell or purchase between the two parties has to be registered. A mandatory stamp duty of 10 per cent is payable if the agreement is for more than one year. For a period less than one year, 6 per cent duty has to be paid by the client,” said DIG (Stamps and Registration) Kamal Saxena.
Call it an oversight or lack of awareness, but the commercial establishments that set up stalls at the Mahotsav over the years have never paid this tax.
This was what commissioner Lucknow division RK Mittal had to say when questioned on the issue. “I am not aware that stamp duty is to be paid for such transactions as well. I am going to make sure that my officials look into this matter and take the necessary action,” he said.
So what has been the revenue loss to the exchequer? While the revenue officials said they were still working on the details, information culled by HT Lucknow Live about the income from the sale of these shops/stalls to the organisers puts the amount at lakhs of rupees.
The Lucknow Mahotsava Committee has sold space worth Rs 55 lakh to commercial establishments this year for setting up stalls. Ideally, all the 375 commercial establishments that have set up stalls at the festival should have paid 6 per cent as stamp duty, which would have amounted to Rs 3.30 lakh.