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Assam govt’s steep hike in rates of public events draws public ire

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Guwahati, Nov 22: Widespread discontent has emerged among citizens and political groups following the state government’s decision to substantially raise service fees for organizing political rallies, events, and meetings.

Previously, the fee for political rallies, political programs, and meetings/conferences stood at Rs 100, but it has now been increased to Rs 2000. Meanwhile, fees for religious functions, processions, and meetings, which were Rs 300, have been done away with.

According to a notification from the Home department, fees for sports events will be Rs 2,000, street plays, awareness rallies, and events will incur a charge of Rs 500, and trade fairs, food fairs, expos, etc., will cost Rs 5,000. Petrol pumps and gas agencies will now be charged Rs 10,000.

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Permission for theatre shows, New Year’s Eve events, exhibitions, trade fairs, male/female food festivals will be set at Rs 5,000, which was earlier Rs 1,000.

In response to this hike, approximately 15 opposition parties, including the Congress, are planning a protest on Thursday. “We are dissatisfied with the government for forcefully imposing exorbitant taxes on various cultural events. The Assam government has been functioning in an autocratic manner under chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma,” expressed Ranjan Kalita, a local resident.

Meanwhile, Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP) president Lurinjyoti Gogoi likened the BJP government to the East India Company, asserting that the tax hikes are an attempt to compensate for government mismanagement.

Read: Phrangki Buam’s late goal sends Shillong Lajong to 4th place in I-League 2023

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