Up against new taxes on the hotel and marriage palace business, members of the Punjab marriage palace association (PMPA) on Thursday gathered here for a protest rally.
Owners of marriage palaces and hotels from across the state joined this new campaign to put pressure on the state government. They also handed over a memorandum to the Bathinda deputy commissioner.
The PMPA has threatened to hold more rallies in all districts against the state government. Its members accused the state bureaucrats of being rude and abusive in dialogue. "The government has asked us to submit licence fee, change of land use (CLU) certificate and heavy external development charges (EDC)," said Satish Arora, president of the Bathinda hotel, restaurant and resort association. "It wants half of space in marriage palaces and restaurants dedicated to car parking, which is impractical. We can agree on sparing a third part, that too if we are given some time."
In September also, members of the PMPA had met in Bathinda to launch a protest against the new taxes and decided to fight a legal battle over it. "We are ready to move the Punjab and Haryana high court against the unilateral policies and taxes on the marriage palace industry," said Gurjeet Singh Guri, member of the PMPA. "The state government has burdened the palace industry only to recover from its financial crisis."
New tax condition should not apply to palaces constructed before 2007, the PMSA has said. The Act governing marriage palaces was passed in 2007, so the government's imposing of the CLU fee and EDC of Rs 36 lakh per acre now is unfair, it has added.