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Substantial rise in service tax collection in Pondicherry

Rajesh Nair

Against the target of Rs 45 crores for the fiscal, Rs. 21 crore collected so far

PONDICHERRY: There has been a substantial increase in the service tax collection from within Pondicherry Commissionerate during the last two years.

Though the jurisdiction of the Commissionerate includes the two districts of Tamil Nadu- Villupuram and Cuddalore- and a part of Kanchipuram district, more than 50 per cent of service tax collection is from the Pondicherry region alone. While the service tax collection during the year 2003-04 was Rs 18 crores, it went up to Rs 28 crores in the next year. "Our target for 2005-06 is Rs 45 crores and till November this fiscal we have collected Rs 21 crores. We are hopeful of achieving the target," K Sekar, Commissioner of Pondicherry Commissionerate told The Hindu. The Central Government's decision to exempt service providers from the service tax network of those with taxable value of less than Rs 4 lakh saw the number of assessees coming down to around 1500 from the earlier 4,000 service tax payers. Over 50 per cent of cable operators, marriage hall owners, beauty parlours, many hawkers and photographers were now out of the purview of service tax, he said.

The Commissioner informed that a major chunk of service tax collection came from BSNL, road goods transport service providers, banking and financial services.

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