Supersonic, Sunburn EDM fests owe Goa govt Rs 9.7cr

If these music fests are such huge liabilities, we don’t want them . This is not the only liability they pose . The noise pollution, the drugs and alcohol related problems these fests bring are far worse liabilities

Questions are being raised about the exact dues owed by the promoters of Sunburn and Supersonic to the state government. With two different numbers being released by the state government, suspicions are beginning to surface at a time when the government is trying to woo the two popular music festivals back.

According to data released by the department of commercial taxes, the promoters of the two electronic dance music (EDMs) festivals owe Rs 9.67 crore to the government. The amount is higher than the Rs 6.82 crore divulged by tourism minister Manohar Azgaonkar in the assembly.

The discrepancy came to light after the Goa state information commission ordered the state commercial tax department to release information about the tax levied and paid by promoters of Sunburn and Supersonic till 2015-16.

The department’s claim that the tax was collected based on trust and thus could not be divulged under Section 79 of the Goa Value Added Tax Act and Section 8(d) of the RTI Act was rejected by the state information commission.

According to the data released under RTI, Percept owes the government a total of Rs 6.29 crore since 2011-12 as dues under entertainment tax, traffic cell charges and police bandobast charges for Sunburn. Against the Rs 12.07 crore entertainment tax levied on Percept, only Rs 7.67 crores were paid.

Similarly, Viacom18 and Starlight Events owe the state Rs 3.38 crore for Supersonic.

The commercial tax department had levied Rs 3.18 crore as entertainment tax out of which Rs 1.90 crore was paid by the promoters of Supersonic.