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Tax-free budget a farce: Bajwa

HT Correspondent   Jalandhar, April 11, 2013
First Published: 17:40 IST(11/4/2013) | Last Updated: 20:41 IST(11/4/2013)

Terming the SAD-BJP government’s “tax free” budget as a fraud on public, the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) on Thursday announced to soon expose the current regime by issuing a white paper on “indirect” taxes worth over Rs. 3000 crores imposed by subverting the democratic process.

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PPCC president Partap Singh Bajwa alleged that though no fresh taxes were shown to imposed in the budget, but the government had actually burdened citizens with indirect taxes.

“The power tariff hike will fetch them Rs. 1800 crores every year. Increase in bus fare, hospital charges, liquor bottle prices, old vehicles transfer charges, girl students fee, stamp duty on registration of properties, suwidha centre user charges and levying of huge license fee on serving liquor during marriage parties will fetch over Rs. 1200 crores to the government's kitty. The list of such taxes is long,” Bajwa quipped, adding that public should stay ready to get further burdened with such “silently” imposed taxes.

Bajwa, while quoting the poll manifesto of the ruling party, alleged that though the former were ready to shell out Rs. 11 crores for performance of bollywood star Akshay Kumar and Rs. 38 crores for buying a chopper, but the government did not have funds to continue with its poll promise of providing free education to girls up to graduation from class 12 level. “Badals actually made fool of people,” he alleged.

The wrong policies of the current regime led to over Rs. 1.5 lakh crores debt till date, he said. “A Congress delegation will meet the Prime Minister and the finance minister after April 22 to apprise them of the financial crises of the state and to seek special package for the border districts,” Bajwa said, adding that Punjab was fit case for imposition of financial emergency.

On state government’s now changed plans to levy a token property tax, an emboldened Bajwa said that government stood exposed, as Badals were earlier holding centre responsible for imposition of “heavy” property tax. “The centre had never fixed quantum of tax to be levied. Badals owe explanation to the public for misleading the public,” he said.

Demanding an immediate rollback in power tariff, the Congress leader said that the government should explain the rationale for such a hike. “The hike will severally hit the industry and domestic consumers. We are considering legal options on dragging the government to the court on this count,” he said, adding that an emergency meeting would be convened to launch statewide agitation on power tariff hike.

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