The Punjab government on Tuesday described UPA government's latest decision to bring NRIs in the ambit of 12.36% service tax as a retrograde step as it would discourage them to remit money through legal channels, giving a fillip to the hawala trade.
NRIs affairs minister Bikram Singh Majithia said in a statement in Chandigarh that the Congress-led UPA government in a bid to free itself from policy paralysis had moved the clock of economic reforms backwards by taking decisions that would stop inflow of foreign direct investment into the country.
He said this decision was designed to target Punjab and Gujarat governments as these two states were getting maximum remittances from its natives working in various countries.
Majithia claimed over 80 lakh Punjabi NRIs were remitting on an average Rs 50 crore daily to Punjab, which was spent by their relatives in the development of the state. This dubious move of the Union government would adversely affect the economic growth of Punjab, he alleged.
Majithia said that he along with chief minister Parkash Singh Badal would call on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to immediately withdraw this retrograde law that would otherwise adversely affect the economic growth of not only the states but have a serious impact on foreign currency reserves of the country.