State finance minister Jayant Malaiya on Wednesday indicated that the state government had no plans to raise taxes or levy new ones in the forthcoming state budget, sources said. Malaiya was in the city on Wednesday to interact with representatives of trade and industry.
"The finance minister did not elaborate because he is not supposed to talk about the budget before it is presented in the assembly. But he did assure that the budget will be industry-friendly," said an office-bearer of the Association of Industries, on condition of anonymity. The issue of discrepancy in tax rates vis-à-vis neighbouring states came up for discussion during the minister's visit.
"We told the minister certain commodities that were attracting a VAT of 13% in Madhya Pradesh were being taxed at 5% in some neighbouring states. Also, we told him about another issue related to the illegal entry of certain goods from neighbouring states without payment of entry taxes, which caused an adverse impact on the local manufacturing industry. The difference in levy of central sales tax (CST) between some neighbouring states and Madhya Pradesh also came up for discussion," the office-bearer said.
The finance minister will present the budget at a time when the government is facing financial woes after having already borrowed more than Rs 6,000 crore from the market.
The state government recently increased the VAT on petrol and diesel by 4% in a bid to shore up revenues. The industry is hoping that the cash crunch will not force the government to go back on its promise of providing tax concessions for setting up large industrial units.