Goa Government spent Rs 3.26 crore for hosting a day-long 37th Goods and Services Tax Council meeting chaired by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in a star resort last month, RTI data showed.
City lawyer Aires Rodrigues received the information from the Commissioner of State Tax through the Right to Information Act. It reported that a local event planning firm hired to carry out various arrangements for the Council meeting is due to pay Rs 1.95 crore and Rs 50 lakh to hire 200 taxis for the event held on September 20.
Together with their key assistants, finance ministers from all states and territories of the Union attended the Council meeting here in the state capital.
“The five-star DoubleTree by Hilton hotel where the meeting took place cost Rs 50,69,600, which includes delegates ‘ lodging and meals, including the hotel’s presidential suite which cost the taxpayer Rs 59,500 a night.
“The government spent another Rs 30 lakh on the dignitaries who stayed in Cidade-de-Goa, another five-star resort near Panaji,” said Rodrigues, quoting RTI documents. It was the first time that the meeting of the GST Council took place in the coastal state.