Harsh Sanghvi, Gujarat Minister of State for Home Affairs, today said that the state government has not levied any new tax on professional Garba events. He explained that GST has been imposed on such Garba events since 2017 and before that there was Sales Tax and Value Added Tax.
Furthermore, he said that businessmen in Gujarat understand that the government has not imposed any new tax. He also took a jibe at the opposition and said that those who are looking to form government in the state raise such issues because they are ignorant.
Speaking at an event, Sanghvi said, “Since 2017 there has been GST in the country. Before that, there was Sales Tax and Vat. Businessmen here know it well, but those who are dreaming to form government in this State don’t know it! Shraddha and culture are two important things and people do celebrate cultural programmes with devotion.”
The entire issue came forth when United Way of Baroda, a Vadodara-based NGO popular for organising mega Garba events, recently displayed applicable GST rates on its website. People became outraged knowing that the government demands 18% GST on Garba passes priced above Rs499.
Sanghvi’s remarks were aimed at the opposition parties, Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), who organized protests against these rates and demanded the withdrawal of the taxes.
Furthermore, Sanghvi said, “For Gujarat, Garba is about shraddha. All Gujaratis celebrate it together. Gujaratis will never accept politicization of this festival and they will give befitting reply in upcoming days to those who politicize it.”