Passes at concessional rates for vehicles entering State regularly from across the border

: The weeklong stalemate over Goa’s entry tax for vehicles coming from outside the State, between the Goa government and transport operators from Karnataka and Maharashtra bordering Goa, was resolved amicably on on Tuesday.

The traders agreed to monthly passes with substantial concessions in entry tax offered by the Chief Minister for vehicles visiting regularly from across the border, at a meeting of representatives of traders from Kolhapur, Belgaum and Hubli with Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar held at the Goa Legislative Assembly complex on Tuesday evening.

Though representatives of the All India Motor Transporters’ Congress from Karnataka and Maharashtra were not present at the meeting with the Chief Minister and Transport Minister Ramkrishna Dhavlikar, organised at the initiative of the Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), representatives of trade bodies such as the Belgaum Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) and Kolhapur Chamber and Karnataka Chambers attended.

After the meeting, the Chief Minister told The Hindu at the State Secretariat here that “business interests of the regular visitors (transporters and traders) will be taken into consideration to offer them substantial relief from entry tax with a monthly pass system, to be introduced within seven days. Till this is worked out their vehicles will be exempted from entry tax as announced earlier.”

“They have agreed to resume the supply of all essential goods immediately,” he said referring to the boycott of Goa declared by transporters from across the border, thus impacting the supplies of essential commodities for many days.

The meeting was attended by Satish Tendolkar, president, BCCI; Sanjay Shetye, vice-president, Kolhapur Chamber of Commerce; Vasant N. Ladawa, vice-president, Karnatak Chamber of Commerce; Nayan V. Prasade, Kolhapur Agricultural Produce and Industry Marketing Committee; Ashok S. Gadad, co-chairman, Karnataka Small Scale Industries Association; and Vikas R. Kalghatgi, Belgaum Small Scale Industries Association.

A representation seeking monthly entry pass system with 75 per cent reduction in tax was submitted to the Chief Minister by the delegation.

“While Goa depends on the neighbouring districts for almost all of its essential commodities, we also need the business from Goa for our own survival. We have shared a long, cordial and mutually beneficial relationship and we should keep this relationship intact,” the representation stated.

“We too understand that Goa needs revenue to build its infrastructure. We never demanded total abolition of entry tax,” said Satish Tendolkar, expressing happiness over the solution of the imbroglio. When asked about the acceptability of the solution worked out in the absence of representatives of the All India Motor Transport Congress or the Kolhapur Lorry Owners’ Association, Mr. Tendolkar said truckers would agree to the understanding.

Mr. Parrikar said the solution had been worked out “in principle” after realising that the traders should also not be burdened with heavy taxes when they ply regularly.

The delegation thanked the GCCI president for taking initiative in resolving the stalemate.

  • Business interests of regular visitors will

    be taken into consideration: CM

  • ‘Traders have agreed to resume the supply of

    all essential goods immediately’