Goa's Spirited Online Weekly Magazine.

The Grape Escape - II

VAT an Idea!

You read last week how the Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) which has always looked like a corporation for self-advancement of its self and the tourism ministry; placed an ad on the Mid Day, a Mumbai eveninger read mainly by train commuters; hardly the medium to advertise a local event. 

How Rs 23,296 was spent to buy flexible hoardings and another Rs 10,088 to buy printed flex on frame.  How Rs 35,000 was spent on Grape Escapade advertising and publicity campaign and Rs 3,000 billed for Grape Escapade additional hoarding charge.  It would of course never occur to GTDC that all this is totally unnecessary because at the most it was only the people of Panjim who went to the event more out of curiosity, then expectation.  How could they, when they have to be flexible with your tax money? You also learnt that GTDC choose to print its invitation cards in Kolaphur instead of Goa.

It gets better this week because I learnt that Crosscraft Pvt. Ltd charged Rs 3,66,750 for the stage, light effects, tables, chairs, intelligent lights, stalls and generator backup.  Though Crosscraft’s bill claims it supplied 100 tables, GTDC gave the Tourism Department a second bill from Indira Decorators & Sound System for 30 tables at a cost of Rs 5,100.  This is far cheaper, if you compare it with Crosscraft which did not even concern itself with providing a breakup of services rendered.

In fact, in Crosscraft’s bill made out for a consolidated Rs 3,66,750, the only itemized costs are Rs 38,000 for the 125 KVA generator and Rs 3,750 for balloons it supplied (I am truly blown away by this exorbitant cost).  The breakup of the balance Rs 3,25,000, I guess was left to the imagination of the government auditors.  Astonishingly, in none of the many bills I have in hand has VAT been added, except in the bills submitted by Midway Trading Co and the printer.  Look at it this way, the government wastes your tax money trusting you not to object.  You haven’t so far, so why bother now, when the government doesn’t pay taxes.  Several bills in fact were merely handwritten on letterheads revealing the barest of details.

It gets better.  Henry’s Music Café billed GTDC Rs 10,500 for providing a projector and screen.  That’s what its bill (no. 570) proves abundantly.  In the statement of bills GTDC submitted to the Tourism Department, item no. 23 of the statement is testimony to that too.  However, item no. 24 declares that a generator was also provided by Henry’s Music Café.  No cost is mentioned and no explanation, given either, why?  Was GTDC using rare hindsight trying to cover up any future queries?  Question is, since Crosscraft provided a generator was there a need for a second one?

Here’s some more sound logic for the government internal auditors and the Comptroller Auditor General of India.  Henry’s Music Café also billed (no. 568) GTDC Rs 60,000 for providing a sound system -Rs 45,000 and a generator - Rs 15,000.  But in its statement of bills against item no. 4 GTDC billed the Tourism Department a consolidated sum of Rs 60,000 and Rs 12,000 (item no. 5) for hiring an additional sound system.  But there is no mention of this in the relevant bill of Henry’s Music Café (bill no. 568.) Eventually, both Henry’s Music café bills and the GTDC’s statement of bills add up to Rs 82,500, but the point I am making here is these basic errors in the statement of bills prove there is little to be said about GTDC’s accounting methods.  Leave aside the criminal wastage of your tax money.  Or, is it that we are as deaf as we are seemingly dumb.  Moot (or should I say mute) point eh?

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