Deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Thursday said the Rahat Scheme would greatly benefit the trading community, in which they can opt for lump sum deposit of tax dues.
Presiding over a gathering of traders from Majha region, the deputy chief minister claimed the "comprehensive scheme would provide a hassle-free platform to the traders".
"They can now opt for depositing the entire annual due amount in one go, the lump sum deposit," he said, pointing out that this was being done to get rid of 'inspector raj' and also to avoid the cumbersome procedure of unnecessary record keeping by traders.
He told the gathering that the new Rahat Scheme has been launched in 74 cities and towns in the state. Of these, 24 cities and towns fall in tier-1 and the remaining are in tier-2 and tier- 3 categories. He said the unique scheme is for traders having an annual business turnover up to Rs 1 crore.
The traders with an annual business of Rs 25 lakh would have to deposit Rs 5,000 as lump sum tax whereas those having a turnover from Rs 25-Rs 50 lakh, the annual amount would be Rs 10,000.
For those whose turnover is from Rs 50 lakh to Rs 75 lakh, the lump sum tax would be Rs 15,000 while it would be Rs 20,000 for those with business up to Rs 1 crore.
Toll-free helpline comes up
Launching a toll-free helpline (18002582580) for traders and firstname.lastname@example.org, Sukhbir said traders can register their complaints directly on this number for proper implementation of the Rahat Scheme. He said the registered traders would be facilitated by accidental insurance cover of Rs 2 lakh, cashless treatment of up to Rs 50,000 and an insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh in case of natural calamity.
He said Punjab had got the status of a power surplus state and power rates would be cut down soon. He said tubewell connections will be given to farmers within a week, besides distribution of blue cards to beneficiaries.
He said the Punjab government has finalised the blueprint to connect all major roads in the state with 4/6 lane network and Rs 15,000 crore has been set aside for this purpose.
Sukhbir said Progressive Punjab Investment Summit and Progressive Punjab Agriculture Summit initiatives had paved the way for industrial and agriculture revolution in the state. He said Infosys, ITC and Cargill have decided to set up their units in Punjab.
He said the SAD-BJP government would win all 13 seats in the coming Lok Sabha polls in Punjab.
Addressing the gathering, Brahmpura exhorted the traders to get full benefit of Rahat Scheme, which would provide a big relief from paper work and from keeping records.
Revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia, local bodies minister Anil Joshi and others also addressed the traders.