2017 elections: Akali-BJP govt going all out to woo traders

  • Navrajdeep Singh, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Dec 10, 2015 12:50 IST
Chief parliamentary secretaries Saroop Chand Singla (third from right) and NK Sharma (second from right) during a meeting with industrialists and traders in Bathinda on Wednesday. (Sanjeev Kumar/HT)

The Punjab government may revamp business policies, schemes and tax structures, in what is being seen as a vigorous attempt to woo traders and industrialists before the 2017 assembly polls.

A six-member committee formed by the SAD-BJP government has already started to collect feedback from the traders at the ground level, asking them about schemes, mainly the Rahat scheme, launched in the past two years.

Under the Rahat scheme, the traders no longer have to maintain account books, stock registers, purchase invoices or bills, ledgers and goods receipts.

The six-member committee will be discussing the inputs in detail during a review meeting, which will be chaired by deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, on December 20.

Chairing a meeting of traders and industrialists in Bathinda on Wednesday, chief parliament secretaries Saroop Chand Singla (excise) and NK Sharma (industries) said the purpose of the interactions was to “review and gather” their feedback about government schemes launched for them.

“On the basis of the traders’ reviews, the government will make certain changes in tax structure policies, if needed, in order to give more benefits to traders,” Sharma said, adding that the feedback from traders will help bridge the gap between them and the government.

“We came to know that even after launching of the Rahat scheme, under which traders who have a turnover of `1 crore or less can opt for paying tax in lumpsum, some traders had been exploited by the excise and taxation department,” Sharma said. He said the government was also trying to build a cordial relationship between the government and the Income Tax department.

CPS (excise) Saroop Chand Singla said: “We want to make the excise and taxation department responsible in case the traders covered under rahat scheme face any difficulty. Through the scheme, the government is focused on ending inspector raj (rule). The committee also pressed traders to adopt the government’s various social security schemes, which would be implemented for the business community from December 31.

“All such issues will be discussed and necessary action taken by February next,” Singla said.

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