In view of the hunger strike by marriage palace owners, the Punjab government has withdrawn the hike in Value Added Tax on marriage palaces except the bigger marriage palaces, for the time being.
However, a final decision will be taken after a meeting of officials with marriage palace owners in the coming days.
The marriage palace owners on Monday morning held a rally on the Nabha-Patiala road and then started a chain hunger strike in front of the excise and taxation office.
They raised anti-government slogans saying the decision to impose Rs. 60,000 VAT on a marriage palace which was charging a rent of Rs. 10,000 was illegal and illogical. They said the decision of the government had hit their business as customers were moving towards Haryana, Chandigarh and Himachal Pradesh.
As the union members started the hunger strike, the assistant excise and taxation commissioner of Patiala held a meeting with them and assured them that the higher taxes would not be levied on small and medium marriage palaces, for the time being. He declared that he would arrange a meeting of marriage palace owners with senior officials, who would take the final call.