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HindustanTimes Fri,24 Oct 2014

Punjab to seek higher share in central taxes

PTI  Chandigarh, September 01, 2013
First Published: 16:19 IST(1/9/2013) | Last Updated: 16:22 IST(1/9/2013)

The cash-strapped Punjab government will seek higher share of funds from central pool of tax revenue when the 14th Finance Commission led by its Chairman YV Reddy comes here on September 6, a state minister said.

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"We will be seeking hike in our share in central tax revenue from the 14th Finance Commission as the current level of share is quite low," Punjab finance minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa told PTI.

Punjab will demand that its share in central taxes should be hiked from 1.389 per cent at present to 2.5 per cent while considering state's population.

"We will also want that the commission should give due consideration to state's scheduled caste population while calculating tax share," he said.

A team of 14th finance commission will meet representatives of Punjab government on September 6 to seek state's view on tax revenue sharing.

Finance minister said the state will also seek that the share of states in the net proceeds of shareable central taxes should also be enhanced from 32 per cent at present to 50 per cent so as to provide states with ample funds for carrying out development expenditure.

"The share of state in proceeds of shareable taxes should also be increased from 32 per cent to 50 per cent," he said.

The share of Punjab in all shareable taxes excluding service tax was marginally increased from 1.299 per cent under 12th Finance commission to 1.389 per cent under 13th finance commission. The share of service tax was raised from 1.316 per cent to 1.411 per cent.

As per 13th Finance commission recommendations, out of total transfers of Rs. 17,06,676 crore, the share of Punjab in total transfer of funds to the states is pegged at Rs. 25,766.60 crore including share in central taxes at Rs. 20,146 crore for the period 2010 till 2015.

Haryana government had demanded relook at the formula under which allocations of funds to the states are done while seeking a hike in the total divisible pool of central taxes to 50 per cent from the 14th finance commission.

Asked about "precarious" fiscal health, Dhindsa blamed the low revenue growth in the first quarter of this fiscal, saying that the condition would improve in the following quarters.

"Our fiscal situation is not as bad as being projected ..yes, there is a slow growth in revenue but our revenue growth which is at 10 per cent better than even Haryana's tax revenue growth of 5 per cent," he said.

He blamed the Centre's policies which led to economic slowdown and resultantly less revenue growth posted by states.

Asked about transferring government properties to PUDA under optimum utilisation of vacant government land scheme for raising resources, he said the money be generated from it would be spent on capital expenditure only.

"We will spend money raised from it on capital expenditure only...we have funds for payment of salaries and wages," he asserted.

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