Bengaluru: The state government is considering levying tax on extravagant and lavish wedding ceremonies. Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister T.B. Jayachandra said people spending over Rs 5 lakh for holding marriage ceremonies may be taxed.
The government is planning to introduce this law by bringing an amendment to the existing Karnataka Marriages (Registration and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1976. The money collected through such tax would be utilised to conduct simple marriages including mass and inter-caste marriages.
Families spending more than Rs. five lakhs or drawing up a guest-list in excess of 1000 would be forced to pay tax if the government decides to amend Karnataka Marriages (Registration and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, law and parliamentary affairs minister T.B. Jayachandra told media persons here on Thursday.
He said the tax collected from wealthy families would be used to meet the expenses of weddings of the poor and inter-caste marriages.
"Rich and middle class families in the city spend a lot on marriages. It is nothing but vulgar display of wealth, and it has to be restricted by imposing tax. To show off their wealth, the rich invite thousands of people to weddings in air-conditioned halls. I have taken up the idea of imposing a tax on extravagant marriages following discussions in the Legislative Assembly and the Council, where members suggested that the government levy tax on lavish marriages. The members have also suggested that we encourage mass marriages", he added.
He said he would make the next move after getting a feedback from people. Such a tax was first introduced by the government in Kerala where the guest-list should not exceed 300, the minister added.
The minister said the government had made registration of marriages mandatory which would help put an end to child marriages. A high-level committee headed by former Supreme Court Judge Shivaraj Patil had recommended making registration of marriages mandatory.
He said though the Karnataka Marriages (Registration and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1976, stipulates that registration of marriages is compulsory, there was no compulsion on citizens to get their marriages registered.
However, the Justice Patil headed committee had suggested to add a new section, making non-registration of marriages a punishable offence.