West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee today said that her government was willing to provide 'full relief' to the common people and farmers hit by the increase in diesel prices and restriction on subsidised LPG, if the Centre allowed the state to collect taxes taken away by it.
"My state is very much willing to provide full relief to the common people and farmers affected by the increase in prices of domestic LPG and diesel," Banerjee said on her Facebook page. "But at the same time, the Centre must allow the state to collect all taxes, now taken away by the Centre. This will enable the state to provide full relief and subsidy," she said.
Banerjee said that in a federal structure, the Centre made policies and imposed taxes and took away about 70% of the tax proceeds collected by states.
Stating that this left behind a 'meagre 30%' for utilisation by states, she said, "As per the present formula, our State receives only 2.3% of the total taxes collected by the Centre."
She said to make federal democracy flourish, "the voice of the state must be heard and the tax resources raised must be left to the state."
Suggesting that instead of continuing to burden the common people by increasing tax on petrol products to raise resources, she said "a large number of 'benami' assets and funds need to be unearthed which can be used for development of the country."