Goa on Monday refused to withdraw the entry tax imposed on the vehicles arriving from other states, even as strong protests were held at Banda village in Maharashtra, demanding roll back of the tax.
Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar told reporters this morning that the state has begun collecting entry tax for the vehicles entering Goa from other states.
The neighbouring states, too, have been charging tolls, which is similar to the entry tax imposed by Goa, he said.
The state government’s decision evoked strong resentment among the people living in districts of Maharashtra and Karnataka, bordering Goa.
While the road on Mumbai-Goa Highway at Banda in Sindhudurg district was blocked, the wholesale dealers from Belgaum in Karnataka stopped the transport of essential commodities like vegetables, groceries and others.
The vehicles bearing Goa registration and proceeding towards Sindhudurg were stopped by a mob of hundreds of people at Banda.
Eye witnesses said that there were long queues of vehicles at Patradevi check post, bordering Maharashtra.
Mr. Parrikar refused to roll back the entry tax claiming that the people from neighbouring states cannot dictate terms to Goa.
He, however, said the vehicles from Sindhudurg, Belgaum and Karwar would be given concession in the form of monthly passes, later.
“Currently we are observing the traffic from these districts. We will give them concessions in the form of monthly passes,” the Chief Minister said, adding that the state is ready to give concession to regular commuters.
The vehicles entering Goa will not feel the pinch of the entry tax as diesel here is cheaper by Rs. 1.7 as compared to Karnataka and Rs. 3 as compared to Maharashtra, the Chief Minister said.
“Each tempo entering the state goes back with the tank full, which means they fill 150 litres of diesel saving Rs 500-700,” he said.
The travel to the neighbouring places like Bangalore and Pune is already charged by the respective state governments, in the form of infrastructure tolls, he said.
“Why should someone question if Goa charges the tax? If you want to travel to Pune, you have to pay Rs 500 and for Bangalore Rs 600 in the form of tolls. Goa media should start a campaign asking these state governments to abolish these toll taxes,” Mr. Parrikar said.
Goa government has started charging Rs 1,000 per truck, Rs 500 for tempo, Rs 250 for four-wheeler and Rs 100 for three-wheeler as entry tax for vehicles arriving from other states.
Mr. Parrikar said the state has projected Rs. 100 crore revenue annually in the form of entry tax.