Daily World Special: Punjab Govt marches ahead with new taxes

High-level meeting chaired by the CM gives nod to levy professional tax, hike RDF/Mandi Fees, motor vehicle tax; but no luxury tax on 5-star hotels

DW Bureau / Chandigarh

The Punjab government has decided in-principle to levy new taxes, including professional tax, rural development fund (RDF) and Mandi fees as well as motor vehicle tax to mobilise additional resources and fulfill its electoral promises, it is learnt. The government is likely to generate around Rs 1,400 crore after levying fresh taxes or raising the taxes on certain items, besides recovering around Rs 1,400 crore dues by the Departments of Food and Civil Supplies as well as Revenue.

A high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh decided to raise the rate of electricity duty from the current 18 per cent to 20 per cent to compensate for the loss of octroi on electricity duty charged from the consumers in urban areas following the implementation of GST. The government has, however, decided against levying luxury tax on five star hotels in the State and entertainment tax on cable.

Among those who attended the meeting, included Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal, Punjab Congress president Sunil Jakhar, Chief Principal Secretary to CM Suresh Kumar, Media Adviser to CM Raveen Thukral, Chief Secretary Karan A Singh, Special Chief Secretary (Horticulture) Himmat Singh, Special Chief Secretary (Revenue) KBS Sidhu, ACS (Local Bodies) Satish Chandra, Financial Commissioner (Development) MP Singh, Financial Commissioner (Taxation) Anurag Agarwal, Principal Secretary (Finance) Anirudh Tewari, Principal Secretary (Food Supplies) KAP Sinha, Principal Secretary to CM Tejveer Singh and Tourism Secretary Jaspal Singh.

The government would be effecting an increase of 1 per cent each in the Rural Development Fund (RDF) fee and Mandi fee by amending the Acts, and also enhance the Motor Vehicle Tax, both on personalized and commercial vehicles, especially on luxury cars worth Rs 15 lakh and more, to generate more revenue.

It was decided that the Food Supplies Department will recover from the rice millers at least Rs 1,000 crore this year. Similarly, the State’s Revenue Department was asked to recover old arrears amounting to Rs 100 crore this year, which will be over and above the normal stamp duty being recovered by the Punjab government. The general collection of revenue from stamp duty, however, is expected to be stagnant following the government announcement during the Budget session to substantially reduce stamp duty. The government has, meanwhile, ordered all departments, including transport and health, to hike user charges to mobilise more resources than last year.

(editor@dailyworld.in)

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