Tribune News Service
Solan, March 28
More than 50 per cent revenue loss has been suffered by the state government on account of inter-state toll tax due to the Covid lockdown.
Parwanoo and Baddi inter-state barriers have suffered the most as there was a lockdown from April to September. Though tourism arrival began in September but a decline has been registered in March due to the second wave of Covid informed toll lessees.
“The tourist arrivals has once again taken a dip due to Covid surge in Punjab, Delhi and other states,” informed a hotelier.
In Parwanoo the highest monthly collection of toll has been about Rs 50 lakh while it was as less as a few thousands in the months from April to August. Barely Rs 4.80 crore were collected untill February this year and the shortfall was more than 55 per cent.
There are two inter-state barriers in Parwanoo, one at Tipra and another on the Parwanoo-Kalka highway. Their lease was renewed for Rs 12.96 crore for the financial year. It included a 10 per cent increase in its value and 1 per cent as renewal fee. In Baddi, the toll barrier lease was renewed for around Rs 16 crore.
The Parwanoo inter-state barrier is the gateway to the state, which leads to popular tourist destinations of Shimla, Kinnaur and Sirmaur districts. Baddi is the industrial hub. It, therefore, receives a sizeable inflow of vehicles from other states. Notably, the state has registered an 81 per cent contraction in revenue in the tourism sector while hotels and restaurants have registered a 9.2 per cent revenue decline.
Commissioner, State Taxes and Excise, Rohan Thakur, said , “The state government is seized of the matter and some decision would be taken in the coming days on the issue as several licensees have demanded relaxation in payment.”
The licence of the Parwanoo licensee was recommended for cancellation by the district authorities due to non-payment of monthly dues. The state government was yet to take a decision on how much relaxation should be granted to the lessees.