The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Wednesday advised Punjab local bodies minister Anil Joshi not to play politics on the issue of input tax credit (ITC) and urged state BJP president Kamal Sharma to direct Joshi not to flout principles of ‘coalition dharma’ as well as collective responsibility of the state cabinet.
In a statement here, SAD general secretary Maheshinder Singh Grewal said it was shocking as well as unacceptable that Joshi had issued ultimatums, threatening he would lead an agitation in case an amendment made in the VAT (valueadded tax) Act was not revoked. Grewal said the fundamental idea behind amending the VAT Act earlier was to control tax evasion. “There was feedback that against the total of 2.49 lakh registered traders, 1,063 were paying 85% of the total tax. Also, only 3,000 dealers were paying 90% of the tax. As many as 1.44 lakh dealers did not pay any tax,” he added.
“The most surprising fact is that Joshi participated in the cabinet meeting held in October 2013 in which it was decided to amend section 13(1) of the VAT Act which provided that ITC would not be available unless such goods were sold or used in the manufacture or processing of goods meant for sale in the state,” Grewal said, urging Kamal to tell the BJP’s ministers that they should not try to project that they are not part of the collective decision-making process.
“On the basis of feedback given to deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal by various trader groups, it was decided to roll back ITC on stocks,” he said, adding that senior BJP leader Manoranjan Kalia had also made a plea.
SUKHBIR FOR TRADER PANELS
Deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Wednesday announced that the state government would set up a traders’ advisory committee for the excise and taxation department to give advice on the taxation policy.
The main aim to constitute this committee is to ensure active participation of traders in drafting the taxation policies, Sukhbir told a delegation of traders at his ‘sangat darshan’ programme at Punjab Bhawan here, a spokesman said.
The deputy chief minister assured that all sectors of trade sans political personalities would be given due representation in the committees. To ease the impediments in taxation, he also advocated the implementation of “trade-wise tax” in the next six months.