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BMC had claimed octroi duty of ` 28 crore from Jet Airways.
Despite its obvious revenue importance, octroi remains a controversial tax, and has been subjected to a series of criticisms.
Octroi is assessed on consignments entering by road and rail transport on the basis of weight in terms of 100 kilogram units.
The largest contribution to octroi revenues is by food items.
Municipal Governments have, in general, handed over octroi collection to private contractors.
The presence of a specific rate octroi structure implies that in the absence of discretionary changes in tax rates, revenues respond only to changes in quantities and not to a rise in prices of goods imported into municipal limits.
Table 2 presents the average effective octroi rates [EOR] for a sample of twenty-three cities in Pakistan for 89 commodities, which account for the bulk of octroi revenues.
Also, octroi rates vary significantly by type of commodity as shown in Table 3.
Analysis of optimal octroi rates can potentially be undertaken by application of the Ramsey (1927) type of principles of optimal indirect taxation.
1) If local councils are relatively more concerned about the impact of octroi rates on the profitability of industry and trade within the city than on the utility levels of residents arising from their consumption of goods, they are more likely to have lower octroi tax rates on intermediate: goods than on consumer goods.
2) Given a certain revenue target, the level of octroi rates depends on the size of the tax base.
4) If the revenue target of octroi is higher, then, other things being equal, tax rates on both consumer and intermediate goods will be higher.
Econometric analysis has been undertaken of octroi rates in a sample of councils to determine their degree of consistency with the theoretical principles enunciated above.
Given the qualitative nature of some of the above factors and data limitations, the impact of some of these factors on octroi rates has been captured through the use of dichotomous variables and proxies.
The criterion related to economic efficiency implies that, other things being equal, lower octroi rates should be specified on those commodities the import demand for which is relatively price-elastic.
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