Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan on Thursday justified the hike of 1 per cent in existing VAT, saying the state government had the right to decide on taxation to augment its resources.
"There is nothing wrong with it," Chavan said while addressing a press conference after hosting the customary tea party on the eve of the first budget session of the state legislature beginning in Mumbai on Friday .
The government hiked the Value Added Tax (VAT) from 4 per cent to 5 per cent last week.
Chavan criticised opposition Shiv Sena-BJP and MNS for boycotting the tea party hosted by him. "It is customary for
them to do so. My government is ready to discuss any issue raised by them during the session," he said.
The chief minister said the government has already taken steps to ease the hardships of the common man due to price
"We have spent Rs 120 crore as subsidies to make available five essential commodities at the PDS. Even the
Centre has appreciated our efforts. I don't deny that the price rise does not exist," he said.
Asked about MNS's threat not to allow foreign artistes to work in Mumbai film industry, Chavan said it was the job of
the police to check if foreigners working in Mumbai film industry have valid documents or not. "Others need
not interfere," he said.