As Goa is celebrating its golden jubilee of liberation from the Portuguese rule, the Government on Monday announced that temple trusts in the State will be liberated from a tax imposed upon them since 1880 that was continued to be collected for 50 years after the Portuguese had left the soil.
Derram, a tax was imposed upon the Hindu temple trusts by the ersthwhile Portuguese regime. Opposition along with Congress MLA Dayanand Narvekar questioned Revenue Minister Jose Philip D’Souza over this tax and faced with a concerted onslaught, the minister relented to stop the tax.
Raising the issue in the House, Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Dilip Parulekar representing the Saligao constituency said this tax was akin to the jaziya levied upon Hindus by the Moghul emperor Aurangzeb in the 17th century.
Derram was being collected from around 100 temples in Goa in three districts namely Ponda, Bicholim and Canacona. Leader of Opposition Manohar Parrikar sought to know why only temples in the three talukas were asked to pay the tax.
Chief Minister Digambar Kamat also intervened to assure the House that the same would be abolished without any delay.