Gogoi presents Rs 2836 crore deficit budget

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Guwahati, Mar 12: Asom Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today presented Rs 2836 crore deficit budget for the coming fiscal with greater emphasis on better tax collection than imposing fresh taxes.

Mr Gogoi, also the Finance Minister of the state, proposed some fringe taxes, not targeting bigger revenue share, and suggested reduction of a number of taxes, which could give a boost to the infrastructure sector.

He proposed reduction of taxes in construction equipment, conductor, bitumen besides the entertainment industry, jewellery and dry fruits. On the other hand he proposed new taxes in regional language audio cassettes, bamboo products as well as high end hospitality sector, including boat cruises.

Mr Gogoi, who was in the office for the second term, avoided burdening the middle class with higher taxes but focussed on the efficient mechanism for greater tax collection to fill the mismatch of deficit.

'' For rationalisation of the procedure for payment of taxes, I propose to implement the introduction of schemes for composition of the tax and introduce a demand-cum-showcause notice for the convenience of the tax payers, '' he said.

For greater compliance by professional tax payers, the government proposed to implement the enhancement of the period of limitation for collection of escaped taxes as well as making the penal provisions more effective to discourage evasion.

However, there was good news for the beleaguered Tea industry as the government proposed to reduce the agricultural income tax by five per cent. It also proposed to extend the Arrear Liquidation Schemes covering the demand raised up to March, 31, 2005 but warned of sterner measures if the balance sheets were not cleared up by then.


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