Sunday, June 28, 2009

Brace yourself for parking cess

Brace yourself for parking cess

Bangalore: You’re already paying several cesses, with little or no direct benefits. Now, if the government greenlights a bureaucrat’s proposal, you could pay a parking cess when registering a new vehicle and an impact cess if you stay in high-rises.
All these proposals were tossed around at Manthana-2, the second edition of the closed-door brainstorming session between BJP ministers and bureaucrats. They also included an electronic tax register system in business establishments.
But, there was some reprieve for the common man. On the anvil is a token system in police stations in which people receive reference numbers when they file complaints and cite them during follow-ups.
M R Srinivasmurthy, finance principal secretary, is said to have mooted the parking and impact fees which were widely welcomed. State Planning Board deputy chairman D H Shankaramurthy apparently opposed the parking fee.
Emphasizing revenue resources, Srinivasmurthy reportedly justified both the fees. The parking fee will be levied during vehicle registration on the lines of the lifetime tax.
The impact fee on high-rises is built on the assumption that their residents use many government services but pay less tax. This tax could be utilized to provide better facilities. Commercial tax commissioner B A Harish Gowda too is said to have presented ideas on tax reforms.
To enable the common man register his complaint with the police, DGP Ajaikumar Singh reportedly mooted the token system. Complainants needn’t be put to hardship or be at the mercy of station officers. A person can walk into a police station, leave his complaint at the desk, take a token which records the time of his visit and other details. Using this token, the complaint can followed up. In most police stations, the complainant is turned away for various reasons, including the one that the officer concerned is out for investigation.
A bureaucrat reportedly suggested that there’s scope for an education cess after a person gets a job. Once an individual starts earning, he’d be happy to repay the state through a small contribution. Currently, only the central government follows this system, but state governments do not levy educational cess.
Electronic tax register system: This is apparently on the lines of the Kenyan system. Srinivasmurthy explained this would help crack down on sales tax evasion by traders. “If Indians elsewhere can make an impact, why can’t we do it here?’’ Srinivasurthy reportedly said. Energy principal secretary K Jairaj emphasized reducing energy theft and bringing in reforms in power production. The 13-hour session concluded on Saturday and ‘An Inconvenient Truth’, a film on global warming by Al Gore, was screened on Friday night.
I’m satisfied with the Manthana. Such a meeting will be held once in three months to give new direction to the administration. We’ll boost non-tax revenues to enlarge the resource base in the backdrop of the global economic slowdown without burdening the common man.
B S Yeddyurappa |


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