To up revenue, Uttarakhand govt plans to tax to the max

  • Anupam Trivedi, Hindustan Times, Dehradun
  • Updated: Dec 05, 2015 15:16 IST
Chief minister Harish Rawat said the government was contemplating more direct taxes on end users. (HT photo)

The common man will be burdened again as the state government has decided to impose more taxes to help it increase its earnings to the tune of Rs 700-800 crore annually.

Chief minister Harish Rawat said the government was contemplating more direct taxes on end users.

On Thursday, the government decided to impose tax on online shoppers and revise fee on the registration of new vehicles.

The news does not really come as a surprise as only some weeks ago the state levied water tax on hydro power projects.

“This is the call of the time and I am bound to take harsh decisions,” said chief minister Harish Rawat while interacting with Hindustan Times and Hindustan here on Thursday evening.

He said: “Come what may, I am firm on my decision to improve strained financial health of the state by levying taxes. Which government takes such (unpopular) decisions before assembly polls but I am doing it because I want to improve the financial functioning in such a way that the future leaders face no problem.”

The notification says the government has decided to levy 10% on online shoppers, which will increase its earning to around Rs 50 crore annually. The decision has invited criticisms too.

“This is like killing the developing industry,” tweeted @sachinmahajan31 while reacting on government’s decision.

Besides making online shopping expensive, the government has also decided to increase the slab on the registration fee of new vehicles to 6% from 4%. The CM said he hopes this would help the state earn more revenue and also ease vehicular pressure on the roads.

Justifying the move to levy direct taxes, the CM said the decision would in no way affect the common man, as corporate companies running hydro power projects would be required to pay levy on water. According to sources, the state has imposed water tax of 25 paise per cubic metre on hydro power projects.

While replying to a query on the government’s decision to acquire tea estate land in Dehradun for the smart city project, CM said the government was forced to take this decision as it was left with no other space to plan its smart city project.

“The tea estate land is being encroached upon slowly. If we do not acquire it now it will turn into another slum. We could have moved towards Doiwala area for city’s expansion but it has largely fertile agro land and therefore the idea was dropped,” he said.

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