The hike in lumpsum tax on marriage palaces will be on a select few big palaces in the city only where lavish parties are hosted by the city residents. Sources revealed that excise department is looking for only those palaces where per plate charges are more than Rs 2,000. There are only 7 to 8 such places in the city.
Meanwhile, Ludhiana marriage palace owners association held a meeting and condemned the sudden hike in tax by the excise and taxation department while the marriage season is in full swing. Earlier, marriage palaces had to pay Rs 50,000 lumpsum VAT for one function and Rs 10,000 for liquor permit. However, the tax has been hiked to Rs 2.35 lakhs including VAT, liquor permit and luxury tax.
Sources from excise department revealed that the marriage palaces were not paying the actual tax because of which they had to make some changes. Against a gathering of 1,000 people the palaces show only 400 and not only this, in name of luxury tax- few owners have deposited Rs 2,000-5,000 per function which however is 8 per cent of the total expenses on luxury items such as flower arrangement, theme decoration, artists invited to perform in wedding among others.
It has been made mandatory that luxury marriage palaces cannot ask for liquor licence unless they deposit the hiked tax. However,k Sukhdarshan Jain, of the association said that this is a diktat from the department and that too in the middle of the marriage season.
Manjinder Singh, chairman, said the customers are also not happy with the hike and many are also cancelling the liquor service.