Goa’s party challenges hike in licence fees

The AAP Party in Goa challenged the state government to openly come up with a proposal to reduce licence fees.

India.- The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Goa asked the state government on Tuesday to release a proposal to reduce the licence fees that were recently hit with an increase. State casino operators had already submitted a petition to the government expressing their concerns over the tax hike that has been damaging their businesses.

AAP State Convenor Elvis Gomes said that the party had already claimed that the fee increase – while also granting an extension to casinos – is part of an overall strategy that helped in capitalisation through the buying of shares at a reduced price and then leaking the news that caused a 14 per cent rise in a day.

“In the absence of the Chief Minister, people in the Government are a bit scared to put their findings on the file on fee reduction and hence as is always the case, the typical modus operandi to approach the court is being adopted. The casino operators are approaching the court where on expected lines the respondent government will weaken it’s stand so that the casino operators win,” said Gomes.

Under the increase, casinos with passenger capacities of over 400 will have to pay a fee of €4.99 million, up from the previous €1.49 million. Those with capacities between 200 and 400 will pay €3.74 million (instead of just €1.37m) and vessels with less than 200 in passenger capacity will now pay €3.1 million, up from €1.34 million. Onshore casinos will have to pay €6.24 million, up from the previous €2.49 million.

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