The government has decided to impose goods and services tax (GST) on ‘garba’ entry passes from this year’s Navratri festival. Organisers will pass on the additional cost to revellers. The decision to impose GST on ‘garba’ venues did not go well with some sections as they argue that ‘garba’ is one of the main identities of Gujarat.
“We took the decision to impose GST on garba entry cards as the government said that organizing garba comes under the category of the service sector. Their view was that we accept fees and give entry passes to the revellers. But we used to take donations and give identity cards,” one of the top organisers of Vadodara, cultural capital of Gujarat, told ToI.
“The management decided to collect GST from the revellers has caused a major hike in the price. The government should reconsider its decision,” he added.
From 2022, the state government will apply GST on commercial garba’s entry passes, 1 lakh in Vadodara alone, according to news agency IANS report. Players will have to pay more than one and a half crore rupees as GST. With the addition of Rajkot’s 50,000, the players also have to pay GST of more than Rs 1 crore. This decision of the government is being opposed across the state.
The Vadodara city Congress staged a protest at the collector’s office by playing garba and demanded the withdrawal of this tax. Even in Surat people played the garba and protested against GST on garba passes and other things related to Navratri.
As per IANS report, the Aam Aadmi Party has written to the Chief Minister demanding that the GST should be removed as it insults faith. State President Gopal Italia said that garba is a tradition of Gujarat, culture of Gujarat and the faith of crores of people relates to garba. Gujarat celebrates garba as an occasion to seek the blessings of the Goddess. But the BJP government has imposed GST of 18 percent even on garba.