Lucknow, Jan 1: Dismissing all speculations of the traders about the new tax regime in Uttar Pradesh, Chief Minister Mayawati today said Value Added Tax(VAT) was aimed to benefit the common people and would accelerate the pace of development in the state. She held the Opposition political parties responsible for instigating the traders against the VAT for their vested interest.
The new tax regime has been enforced in the state from today even as the traders have called for a day - long state bandh to protest against the implementation of the VAT. The truckers association had already called off their indefinite strike following setting up of a four - member committee to deal with their problem.
Addressing a press conference here, Ms Mayawati said with the implementation of the VAT, UP has entered into the national economic mainstream and it will yield best results in the country with playing an important role in the development of industry and commerce.
She said her government accorded implementation of the VAT so that the common man gets quality items of his daily need at minimum prices.
''With the introduction of the VAT and making the tax structure of UP at par with other states, illegal transportation of goods will be curbed and all, including the common public, farmers, industries and traders will be benefitted,'' she said and called upon the manufacturers and traders to pass on the benefit of the tax reduction to the consumers.
The CM said keeping in view of the needs of the common man, tax rate on 91 items has been reduced in the VAT. While tax rate of 75 articles remained unchanged, only 20 articles are such on which rates have been increased but the option of reconsidering this rate is still open. With the new system, now 15 rates of trade tax have been reduced to four.
Criticising the Opposition parties for raking the issue of the VAT through the traders, she said how could Congress and the BJP oppose the new tax regime, when their governments in Delhi, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan have implemented it in the past.
The Chief Minister said commercial tax comprises about 58 per cent of the total revenue of the state and 10 per cent growth rate has been fixed for the state under the 11th Five Year Plan for which heavy capital was required. This required implementation of a tax system, having less rates of taxes and capable of collection of more and more tax revenue.
''With the implementation of the VAT, interest of each and every section would be protected in the state'', she added.
Ms Mayawati said her government was committed for a trasnparent tax system in which the honest taxpayers would get full protection.
Without taking any name, she said the previous government, while succumbing to the pressure of certain selfish elements, failed to implement the VAT which adversely affected industrialisation in the state, besides failing to curb tax evasion.
UP is the last state to implement the VAT, which was introduced in the country from April, 2005.
She also narrated in detail about the items which had been exempted from the VAT in the state.
Meanwhile, according to the details available, in which other states Delhi, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan Uttarakhand and Haryana have exempted the VAT on the commodities like coarse grains, cotton and silk yarn, curd, butter, earthen pots indigeneous handmande musical instructments, raw wool and broom stick, but UP has imposed tax ranging between 2 to 10 per cent.