Congress deputy leader in the Lok Sabha Capt Amarinder Singh, on Wednesday, strongly opposed the retrospective and alleged punitive taxes on the colonisers and plot holders in unapproved colonies in Punjab.
"Don't punish the common man with exorbitant and punitive taxes to cover up your own fiscal profligacy and financial failures," he told chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and his deputy chief minister son Sukhbir Singh Badal in a statement issued here.
He said, "It was absolutely arbitrary and unjustified on the part of the state government to resort to such punitive taxation, particularly on the residential plot holders, who had been living there for over two decades now. Besides, in case of delay of over three months, the people were being slapped a 60% penalty which, he said, was not just punitive but ruthless taxation as well."
Following a meeting with a delegation of the affected people, Capt Amarinder assured them that once the Congress government was formed in the state, he would ensure that no such punitive taxes are imposed on people. "You can't penalise the people of the state for your own financial crises," he asserted, while referring to the financial mess the state was in and for which the government was trying to impose taxes on every section of the population.
The former chief minister disclosed that he was told that the government was charging Rs 5 lakh per acre from the colonisers and Rs 25,000 to Rs 90,000 per plot holder even if they had constructed residential houses twenty years ago.
In case of commercial properties, the taxes were ten times, he said, and added, it amounted to double taxation, which was unheard of even during the British or feudal times.