State govt used VAT revenue for debt recovery: MBO

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Aizawl, May 2 (UNI) The Mizoram Business Organisation (MBO) today alleged that the state government had used the revenue collected under Value Added Tax (VAT) for recovery of government debt.

MBO general secretary C Lalremruata said here, ''We demand that the state government spend the VAT revenue for development purposes and not for recovery of the state's debt.'' He said the government, since the inception of VAT on April 1, 2005, had collected revenue amounting to Rs 17,768.2 crore till February 2008.

The organisation also called for a detailed account of the government's utilisation of the revenue.

The MBO also alleged that the businessmen were being charged double tax at Sairang and Zemabawk (entries to the state capital) check gates by the Forest and Geology and Mining departments.

It urged the government to appoint only one department to carry out the tax collection so that the businessmen did not have to pay double tax.

''The government has failed to enforce entry tax even after enactment of the same in 2005,'' the MBO stated, adding that the neighbouring states of Assam and Manipur had been getting huge amount of revenue from the entry tax regime.

The MBO also demanded setting up of Taxation department check gates at Zokhawthar and Champhai near the Myanmar border, besides the proposed check gates at Bairabi and Kanhmun, bordering Assam.

Presently, the department has four check gates at Vairengte, Lengpui, Melbuk and Tlabung.

UNI ZS DPM RL PM1440

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