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7 Goa hotels given luxury tax exemptions, though ineligible: CAG

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Panaji, Jan 29 (IANS) Seven Goa hotels were granted luxury tax exemptions up to Rs 1.45 crore in 2017-2018, despite their ineligibility, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) said in its latest report.

The report tabled during the ongoing Winter Session of the Assembly also urged the Goa government to begin proceedings for the recovery of the losses to the state exchequer on account of the exemptions.

“Scrutiny of assessment records of two luxury tax offices revealed that though the payment of tax was delayed by five hoteliers and there were undisputed arrears in respect of two hoteliers, Luxury Tax offices allowed the exemptions while finalising the assessments,” the report said, without naming the seven hotels.

“This resulted in a short levy of luxury tax of Rs 1.45 crore by irregular grant of exemption as detailed,” the CAG report also said.

The state government began to grant luxury tax exemptions to starred hotels in Goa during the lean tourism months of June to September from 2013.

The exemptions — 30 paise for every rupee — were granted on the condition that the eligible hotels file due returns and pays all taxes due to the state government, as specified under Goa’s tourism laws.

According to the CAG report, the exemptions were granted to the hotels in question, despite the fact that they delayed payment of tax to government agencies.

“It indicated that the (Luxury Tax) office was aware of facts that the tax payment was delayed by these hoteliers and despite that the exemptions were allowed,” the report said.

–IANS

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