Goa BJP warns media against biased reports on entry tax

Panaji, April 22 (IANS) The ruling BJP in Goa Monday warned the media against publishing “biased” reports about a stand-off between the state government and transport operators over a controversial entry tax imposed last week.

Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Subhash Faldessai told reporters here that the media should support Goa’s interest in combating pressures from vegetable traders and the transport operators who are opposing the imposition of Rs.1,000 toll tax per truck for entering Goa.

“The media should report fairly. It just should not support the traders and what they say. The reportage is only creating panic in Goa about fictitious shortages,” Faldessai said.

The toll imposed on all vehicles, barring two-wheelers, in Goa for a week now has irked business lobbies, who have demanded that the toll of Rs.1,000 per truck entering the state be revoked with an immediate effect.

The toll effects transporters and traders who send perishable commodities like vegetables, meat and eggs, milk as well as other goods to Goa, which is a production deficient state.

Goa relies on the neighbouring markets from Belgaum (Karnataka), Kolhapur (Maharashtra) and Hubli (Karnataka) for most of its requirements, whose demand is fuelled further by a burgeoning tourism industry in the state.

“The traders are trying to create an artificial scarcity in the market by floating wrong stories about shortages and thereby hiking prices. They should see things for real on ground and then report,” Faldessai said.

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