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Hindi cinema's vanity van association to go on strike over 'exorbitant taxes'

The All Camper Van Owners Association said the government of Maharashtra charges a tax of Rs1.25 lakh per annum per van.

IANS

Hindi film celebrities are in for a different kind of makeover. The vanity van owners' body — All Camper Van Owners Association — has decided to go on an indefinite "non-cooperation movement" from 10 December against what its members characterized as 'exorbitant taxes'.

The strike will leave 250 vanity vans idle, around 500 workers on such vans without a job, and halt shoots, which, in turn, is likely to hit over 5,000 workers who earn daily wages, according to a statement issued by the association.

The association said the strike was being called against the Maharashtra government's rule which charges tax from each van at the rate of Rs1.25 lakh per annum. This is equivalent to the tax charged on 5,000 square metres.

"How does the government claim to say one-nation-one-tax? We are nowhere close to the same. Nowhere in India is tax charged on any vehicles on a square-metre basis. This is happening only in Maharashtra for vanity vans," said Ketan Rawal, president of the association.

He said that in other states, tax on vanity vans is no more than Rs12,000 per annum or, in some cases, a lifetime tax of Rs1 lakh.

The central government's Vahaan 4.0 policy shows tax of vanity vans to be Rs12,000 per annum, but this has not been accepted by the regional transport authority in Maharashtra.

In Gujarat, the tax is Rs57,725 for 10 years while in Delhi vans are taxed on the basis of the weight of the vehicle. In Telangana and Rajasthan the amount is Rs12,000 per annum while Tripura charges a one-time tax of Rs68,175.

"Due to such high taxation by the Maharashtra government, we are on the verge of closing down our business," Rawal added.

According to the statement from the association, members had also complained that the service tax department was "harassing van owners" since February to pay 14% service tax. Ashutosh Desai, general secretary of the association, said senior officials had threatened to seal the vans unless service tax for the last five years was paid.

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