District administration to seek additional finance of around Rs. 12 crore.

Hassan (Karnataka), October 13, 2017: The tax slabs that came into effect following the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax have hit works being taken up by various government agencies for Mahamastakabhisheka, a mega event held once in 12 years, at Shravanabelagola in Channarayapatna taluk. Hassan district administration is all set to seek additional finance of around Rs. 12 crore to meet the expenses.

The State government, in its budget, allocated Rs. 175 crore for the event. When the works were proposed and the costs were estimated, GST was not in effect. “As the tax rates for many commodities increased with the new tax regime, the estimation cost escalated. We have no other way but to request the State government to provide additional funds,” said A. Manju, Minister for Animal Husbandry and Hassan district in charge.

One of the major works being taken up is the construction of temporary townships, to accommodate those who come from different States to witness the event, to be held in February 2018. The Karnataka Road Development Corporation Ltd. has taken up construction of temporary townships at a cost of Rs. 75 crore. Similarly, the Public Works Department is constructing the scaffolding at the cost of Rs. 11.25 crore. The Karnataka Urban Water Supply and Drainage Board has taken up a project to improve drinking water supply and drainage system at Rs. 15 crore.

The townships require among other things cots, beds, wash basins and other essentials. “The cost of certain materials has gone up because of GST. In the previous tax system, the VAT on certain materials was around 5%. Now, it has gone up to 14% and in some cases 18%. Considering the new tax slab, we have calculated the escalation,” said B.N. Varaprasad Reddy, special officer for Mahamastakabhisheka.

The Home Department is spending about Rs. 2 crore for new vehicles, installation of CCTVs and security arrangements.

“We are still working out the additional cost in case of other works as well. Approximately, the extra cost would be around Rs. 12 crore. We will approach the government for this,” the officer added. – News & Image Courtesy: The Hindu