With the Central Government imposing service tax on the Zoo, entry fee to the Mysore Zoo is set increase shortly, according to Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) R.S. Suresh, who also is the Zoo Member Secretary.

Speaking to Star of Mysore this morning, the PCCF said that there is a proposal to impose service tax on the Zoo, effective from July 2012 and the Zoo Authority of Karnataka (ZAK) will have to pay up nearly Rs. 2 crore.

“At present, talks are in progress between the ZAK and the Centre through legal experts, seeking exemption from service tax on the grounds that the Zoo was a part of wildlife conservation and it is more of an educational value rather than entertainment,” said PCCF Suresh and added that ZAK will have to pay 12.36% of the gate collection revenue as service tax.

“Either the burden of the service tax will have to be passed on to the visitors by charging more on entry tickets or we will have to cut costs to prevent burdening the visitors,” said Suresh and added that a decision will be taken up in this regard at the Zoo Administrative Committee’s General Body Meeting.

Chief Conservator of Forests and Zoo Executive Director B.P. Ravi told SOM that the number of visitors to the Zoo was 30,33,893 in 2011-12, garnering a revenue of Rs. 1,191 lakh and the total revenue, including camera fees, fines, etc. was Rs. 1,281 lakh. In the current year (2012-13), till date, the number of visitors is 30,35,877, with a gate revenue of Rs. 1,203 lakh (total revenue Rs. 1421 lakh) said Ravi.

The reason for less number of visitors to the Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens in the past financial year is the Cauvery river water dispute, during which bundhs and road blocks were held for weeks, said Ravi.

Courtesy : Star Of Mysore