Anandpur Sahib MP Ravneet Singh Bittu has lashed out at the state government for imposing "extortion-type policies" for collecting money from marriage palace owners of the state.
"Once flourishing business in the state, nearly 2,400 marriage palaces has virtually reached on the verge of closure," he said.
"More than 7 lakh poor families are directly and indirectly dependent on these palaces for their bread and butter. Though the marriage palaces on an average are booked for 50 to 80 days in a year, their owners deposit Rs 20,000 to Rs 40,000 yearly as lump sum tax," Bittu said.
"Besides, they deposit Rs 5,000 to Rs 18,000 per programme towards excise duty. The service tax at the rate of 12% is already being levied on them. The recent decision of the state government to double the luxury tax from 4% to 8% and to impose another tax at the rate of Rs 1 per sq feet to earn Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh yearly from each marriage palace has threatened the livelihood of the poorest of the poor," he added.
"We demand rollback of fresh taxes and decisions in the interest of the weaker sections of society," said Bittu, terming the recent decision of the state government as dictatorial, in which owners of marriage palaces are being handed over notices to deposit Rs 1 crore on an average each for change of land use certificate.