Shack owners from the coastal belt of Goa had harboured high expectations that they would obtain relief from the inflated fees imposed by the Tourism Department. But in the bargain to reduce the fees, the shack owners have now ended up paying a little more than the previous year’s fees.
The eager shack owners who were desperate to hear from Tourism Minister Rohan Khaunte about the structure of fee deduction were left high and dry. A nominal deduction on the garbage fee, and deck bed and umbrella fee was announced.
The public notice issued by the Goa Tourism Department states that the deck bed and umbrella fee, which was earlier Rs 25,000 has been now reduced to Rs 15,000 and the garbage disposal fee which was Rs 10,000 has now been reduced to Rs 5000. An extension in payment of fees has been given till 4 November 2022.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the tourism industry of Goa suffered a massive blow due to movement restrictions which were enforced by the government. The post-pandemic scenario in Goa was not encouraging to stakeholders in the tourism industry. In the last few months, overseas and domestic tourists have slowly started to come down to Goa, and the tourism industry is picking up at a slow pace.
The shack owners from Goa, who are one of the major components of the coastal tourism of Goa, however, are not happy with the implementation of several fees which were imposed on them by the state government.
Meanwhile, when contacted, Cruz Cardozo, president of the Shack Owners Welfare Society Goa, informed us that the shack owners were assured by the tourism minister that he would consider the demands of the shack owners and has agreed to give some concession on the deck bed and garbage fees.
Cardozo said that he along with the St Andre MLA Viresh Borkar met the tourism minister, and the shack owners were given a concession on the garbage fee, and deck bed and umbrella fee. “Despite this concession, we still end up paying a bit more than the previous year’s fee. We had asked the Tourism Department for a deduction in the shack fee, but it was not done. It is like we have asked for lunch but were served breakfast,” he added.
Earlier this year, as per the government, shacks, and deck beds and umbrella fees for 2022-2023, the ‘A’ category shacks have to pay a total of Rs 1,45,160/Rs 2,16,550. For the ‘B’ category, Rs 1,43,160/Rs 1,82,100, depending on the experience slot of 10 per cent and 90 per cent, respectively. These total fees include the garbage fees, deck bed fees, GST charges and government shack fees as per the policy.