The governments of Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu have imposed taxes outside the Goods and Services Tax (GST). Maharashtra has raised the vehicle registration fee and Tamil Nadu with entertainment tax. This has been allowed by the central government.
The centre has said that the two states, apart from raising tax on entertainment industry beyond the GST rate, it may also impose tax on mandi wholesale markets and vehicle registration fee.
For new vehicles registered in the state, the Maharashtra cabinet on 4 July has decided to raise the one-time registration fee by 2% on private two-wheel and four-wheel vehicles. This is to compensate for a combined revenue loss of Rs 600-700 crore yearly that it will lose on local body taxes after GST implementation.
This increment is for all vehicle categories; it has capped the tax for imported cars worth Rs 20 lakh as against the earlier charge of 20% of the total car cost.
As reported by PTI, the tax on both two-wheelers and three-wheelers had been raised from existing 8-10% to 10-12%. For the petrol-driven cars, the raised tax would be from 9-11% to 11-13%, from 11-13% to 13-15% for diesel-run cars, and for CNG/LPG cars it would be from 5-7% to 7-9%.
The state of Tamil Nadu has also announced intentions to impose 30% of the state entertainment tax over and above the GST rate of 28% on theatres. The tickets will get more expensive by the double taxation in Tamil Nadu than neighbouring states.
As per reports, theatre owners have said that their business would land in a loss and have to close if they have to pay 58% on a Rs 100 ticket. Movie tickets in Tamil Nadu state were limited to Rs 120 for years.
Tamil Nadu theatre owners and distributors are already on indefinite strike demanding withdrawal of 30% local body tax on movie tickets.
Centre approves the additional taxes
In the meantime, Union Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia has said that the two states were well within their rights to increase the tax on the entertainment industry and registration fees and stamp duty.
As quoted by Business Standard, Adhia said, “What was barred was any entry tax on goods movement. How proper or improper it is (states increasing fees and taxes), is not for the Centre to judge.” He further added, “Octroi, now subsumed in GST, was a big income for Maharashtra”.
Adhia, while giving his opinion on Tamil Nadu state move said, “The Constitution gives powers to state governments to impose an additional tax in certain categories.”
The GST Council had earlier decided on two rates for cinema tickets after getting objected from some state governments. The tickets which were costing up to Rs 100 now draw 18% GST and those over Rs 100 have 28%.
The council had decided that the states will be free to levy an additional tax of over 28% on entertainment to fund local state bodies, as local body taxes will be now absorbed under GST.
Cinema is the only category where such a carving has been created by way of law.
Even at 76, Pradip Burman, the zestful chairman of Mobius Foundation radiates a contagious enthusiasm when he is talking about sustainability. The environmental crusader, better known to many as the great-grandson of Dabur founder Dr S.K.Burman, has devoted substantial attention towards promoting the concept of sustainability in all aspects of life. He refuses to conform to the convenience and comfort in today’s world which ultimately adds on to the adverse effects of climate change.
Talking to The Logical Indian, Burman emphasised why sustainability as a concept is indispensable for us. “We ought to be aware of what lies ahead of us. Soon we will finish the oil, iron, tin, and coal, and our next generations will be left with nothing. Recycling, banning plastics, stop felling trees for paper… This should become a part of everyone’s lifestyle,” he urges.
Traditional wisdom and modern research
A mechanical engineer from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA, Burman had always nurtured a keen interest in helping the society, as evident from his graduation project of designing a sonic aid for the visually challenged, which detected obstacles in the way using ultrasonic wave signals.
As an executive for the nature-centric company Dabur, Burman has always opted for natural alternatives to solve his everyday problems like taking Ayurvedic medicine to cure his Arthritis. He later launched the veterinary wing for Dabur – Ayurvet – which provides nature-friendly solutions for animal health care.
A patron of the ancient scientific wisdom of India, Burman always hailed the confluence of “traditional knowledge and modern research”, which he advocated as the Ayurvet motto.
As part of the CSR initiative of Dabur, Pradip Burman founded SUNDESH (Sustainable Development Society) which has been tirelessly working for last 25 years in remote villages for uplifting the rural communities in an environmentally sustainable way.
An advocate of sustainability
Burman believes that sustainability is the indispensable mantra for the world at present. Due to uncontrolled utilisation of the planet’s resources by human beings, the world today stands at a juncture of destabilisation. Today the human race has reached the pinnacle of progress but the advancement is happening in a very unsustainable manner.
Through energy-efficient use of everyday essentials like transport, communication, altered habits of diet, clothing and daily living, some crusaders of sustainability try to reduce their carbon footprint. Pradip Burman’s Mobius Foundation is one of the forerunners toward sustainability goals.
Mobius Foundation aims to change the sustainability dynamics
In 2015, Burman paved the way for the start of Mobius Foundation, focused on sustainability. Named after 18th-century German mathematician August Ferdinand Mobius, the famous Mobius strip has an important philosophical significance. The extraordinary shape symbolises balance and union.
Similar is the essence of Mobius Foundation which wishes to enhance the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” principle to a widespread basis in India, helping generations to come.
Founder Pradip Burman wishes to achieve notable development in education, population stabilisation and renewable energy projects.
A dream school in the making
At Coorg, Pradip Burman’s Mobius Foundation is constructing the World Environment School, Coorg (WESc) where the curriculum will surpass the boundaries of books and classrooms, with a special focus on hands-on learning in close collaboration with the environment. Amidst the pristine natural beauty of Coorg, the school will nurture young minds to grow up into future green leaders. As of now, the school will be open to teenagers, welcoming students from standards 6 to 12.
Needless to say, World Environment School will be the first-of-its-kind not only in India but also in entire South Asia. The school is expected to start from March 2020.
The school promises to nurture the responsible behaviour of citizens of our future.
The Sustainability Conference of 2019
In 2019, the Mobius Foundation has planned an international conference, on the lines of the celebrated earth summits over the past decade. The 2019 International Conference on Sustainability Education (ICSE 2019) aims to bring together environmental activists, practitioners of sustainable development as well as climate change experts to help develop a sustainability-focused curriculum.
It is surmised that the conference will give a platform to innovative concepts of Sustainability Education including an essential change in the existing education system ensuring a wholesome personal development for a student.
The Sustainability crusader
The Mobius founder strongly believes that it is high time to sprout sustainability awareness among a society drowning in consumerism and unknowingly doing irreparable harm to the planet, every second. The best way to achieve this goal is through education which is available to all. At present, the education system is predominantly career-oriented, making the learners a victim of materialism, and thus, their dreams are also outlined in those colours.
Living beyond the limits
When asked about his wish to attain the age of hundred, he strongly asserts that more than becoming a centurion, he wishes his life and work continue to better the society even in his absence. “I have lived my life. I wish that whatever I start before I go, will continue – for the betterment of my country,” says Mr Pradip Burman.
He is also a trustee of the Climate Reality Project – India (affiliated to Mr. Al Gore of the Climate Reality Project Foundation, USA). Climate Reality Project, India, has been actively engaged igniting the spark and spreading the message of climate change amongst educators, policy makers and civil society. The India branch looks after more than 500 trained Climate Leaders, and more than 900 volunteers spread all over the country.
In his journey, Pradip Burman has been a beacon of hope for millions, motivating many to join the movement for sustainability. We wish he continues his tireless efforts for promoting sustainability awareness and inspire generations to come.