New Delhi, Jun 16 (UNI) The Congress, quoting statistics tabled in Parliament, today again denied Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's allegation that the Centre was returning only two per cent of the taxes collected from the state and said the state was given back as much as 54.5 per cent of the direct taxes.
While Rs 6,187 crore was collected as direct taxes from Gujarat in 2005-06, the Centre gave back to the state Rs 3,372 crore, AICC spokesman Manish Tiwari told reporters.
Again quoting Parliamentary proceedings, Mr Tiwari said the Centre did not have any mechanism to calculate the amount of indirect taxes collected from each state.
Even if Mr Modi's assertion that the Centre was collecting Rs 40,000 crore as direct and indirect taxes was true, the total allocation of Rs 9,003 crore for the state in 2007-08 constituted 22.5 per cent.
Mr Tiwari posed questions to the BJP: Whether the saffron party believed that rich states should not contribute to the development of poor states like Meghalaya, Mizoram or Arunachal Pradesh, whether the rich should not be taxed and whether the BJP did not think that Mr Modi's appeal would lay the foundation stone for balkanisation of India.
This showed that Mr Modi was telling white lies, the spokesman said.
Responding to BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu's charge that the Centre was discriminating against Gujarat in the matter of allocations, he said Gujarat was among those states which received maximum support from the Centre.
In fact, seven of these ten states were being ruled by the Opposition parties. The top ten states were Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Orissa, Maharashtra and Karnataka.
Asked whether the Congress would sue Mr Modi for sedition for appealing to the people not to pay central taxes, he said his party had nothing to do if the BJP leader wanted to equate himself with Afzal Guru, the death-row convict in the Parliament attack case.
However, the Congress would take whatever steps had to be taken at the appropriate time.
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