TTAG advocates for fee reduction and streamlined approvals in Goa’s event industry

The Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG) has raised concerns about the exorbitant fees associated with events and weddings, adversely impacting the flourishing MICE industry during the ongoing tourism season. In preparation for the state budget 2024-25, TTAG submitted a pre-budget memorandum, emphasising the pivotal role of events in contributing to higher GST revenue in Goa. However, the organisation highlighted a substantial surge in licensing fees for events and the convoluted process for obtaining permissions, asserting a lack of ease of doing business for event management companies and wedding organisers.

 TTAG President Nilesh Shah emphasised the significant time wasted by wedding and event companies due to the absence of a single-window clearance system, complicating the approval process involving various authorities. The memorandum underscored the alarming increase in permission fees for beach weddings and events from Rs 10,000 to Rs 50,000 in 2020, escalating further to Rs 1 lakh per event recently by the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA). Shah noted a fivefold increase in fees, followed by an additional doubling. Expressing disapproval of the tourism industry seeking permissions from GCZMA, TTAG argued that the Authority’s role is not to collect funds for the government but to safeguard the coastal environment and control pollution. The tourism body also pointed out a surge in the cost of No Objection Certificates (NOCs) issued by the tourism department, rising from Rs 35,000 (including a Rs 20,000 deposit) to Rs 86,000, including tax and the deposit.

 Other incurred costs, according to TTAG, include panchayat fees ranging from Rs 10,000 to Rs 35,000 per day (excluding taxes), fees from the Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB) at Rs 3,000 per applicant, and the indirect costs related to obtaining sound licenses. TTAG’s memorandum called for a reduction in permission fees and simplified approval processes, emphasising the necessity for multiple NOCs from various departments for a single event in the same area from CRZ, tourism department, panchayat, music royalty bodies, Goa police, to GSPCB. In a separate development, the business advisory committee of the state legislative assembly is scheduled to convene on January 25 at 11 am. The committee will discuss and determine the agenda for the six-day budget session, slated to take place from February 2 to 9. Chief Minister Pramod Sawant is set to present the budget for the fiscal year 2024-25 during the session, commencing with Governor PS Sreedharan Pillai’s customary address on February 2 at 11.30 am.


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