Karnataka government was mulling to levy tax on extravagant and lavish wedding ceremonies, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister T B Jayachandra said today. People spending over Rs five lakh for holding marriage ceremonies may be taxed, Jayachandra said. The government is planning to introduce this law by bringing in an amendment to the existing Karnataka Marriages (Registration and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1976, he said. The money collected through such tax would be utilised to conduct simple marriages including mass and inter-caste marriages, he said. Before bringing in the amendments to the existing Marriages Act, the government intends to put the proposal in the public domain for discussion, the minister said. "I am placing before the people our intention of levying tax on lavish wedding ceremonies before we bring in amendments to the existing legislation.
We want journalists, lawyers, people of all hue to express their views on the matter." The law if enacted will curb unnecessary spending on wedding ceremonies, the minister said. "Most of them conduct marriages availing huge loans which pushes them into financial crisis most of the time," he said. The minister said 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 binding on the citizens to get their marriages registered. However, the Justice Patil-headed committee had suggested to add a new section to the law, making non-registration of marriages a punishable offence.