Bollywood vanity van owners to go on strike over high state tax

Bollywood celebrities are in for a different kind of makeover. The vanity van body -- All Camper Van Owners Association -- has decided to go in for an indefinite "non-cooperation movement" from December 10 against what its members called were "exorbitant taxes".

The strike will leave 250 vanity vans idle, around 500 workers of such vans without a job and a halt in 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 Rs 1.25 lakh per annum. This is equivalent to 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 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 Rs 12,000 per year, or in some cases, a lifetime tax of Rs 1 lakh.
The Central Government Vahaan 4.0 policy shows tax of vanity van to be Rs 12,000 per year, but this is not accepted by the Maharashtra RTO. In Gujarat, the tax is Rs 57,725 for 10 years, while in Delhi it's charged on the weight of vehicle. In Telangana and Rajasthan the amount is Rs 12,000 per year while Tripura charges a one-time tax of Rs 68,175.
"Due to such high taxation by 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 the van owners" since February 2018 to pay service tax of 14 per cent.
Ashutosh Desai, General Secretary, of the Association said that senior officials had threatened to seal the vans unless service tax for the last five years was paid.