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Goa mining ban to cause central taxes to drop

Goa mining ban to cause central taxes to dropPanaji, Dec 11 - The central revenue authorities in Goa stand to lose Rs. 500 crore per month in the collection of service tax due to the closure of the mining industry in the state following a Supreme Court ban, a top official said Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters here, Commissioner of Customs and Central Excise D. P. C. Rao said that the tax collection for his office for the current fiscal would fall woefully short of the target, thanks to the mining imbroglio.

"Thirty-five percent of the service tax we used to collect was through mining. We used to recover Rs. 500 crore per month from service tax, but none of that is coming in now," Rao said.

Mining has been banned in Goa for over two months now, after the Supreme Court, hearing a petition filed by activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan, announced a probe by a central empowered committee.

The petition follows the revelation of a Rs. 35,000 crore illegal controversy exposed by a judicial commission headed by Justice M. B. Shah, who has said that top mining companies, politicians as well as bureaucrats were beneficiaries of the scandal.

Rao however said that he is worried that the collection of central taxes this year, may fall woefully short of the targeted collection.

"If the mining continues to be banned, we could lose as much as Rs. 2,500 crore," Rao said.

The annual take away of the Customs and Central Excise from Goa is Rs. 7,000 crore which includes service tax and customs duty, among others. (IANS)