UP govt denies withdrawal of VAT in UP

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Lucknow, Aug 21 (UNI) Uttar Pradesh government today rejected the Samajwadi Party's demand to withdraw the Value Added Tax (VAT) regime in the state and attributed the price hike of essential commodities due to a petroleum price rise.

State Parliamentary Affairs minister Lalji Verma in the State Assembly said the implementation of VAT in the state from January one, 2008 was not responsible for the price hike.

In replying to a question the minister said that the VAT has only benefitted the people and traders and there was no disparity in the tax structure. ''The rise of prices was a countrywide impact, owing to the price rise of petroleum products,'' he said.

Leader of the opposition Mulayam Singh Yadav, demanding withdrawal of VAT, claimed that three per cent hike in the essential commodities was due to the new tax system.

Earlier, raising the question BJP member Radhamohan Das Agarwal said the government had imposed VAT on several products, which were expempted in other states and said four per cent tax of VAT and 2.5 per cent Mandi Tax were responsible for the rise of prices of foodgrains and edible oils.

State food and supply minister Ram Prasad Choudhury said from next month government would introduce the scheme of providing edible oils to the poor on subsidised rates as announced by the Centre. The Centre was providing Rs 15 as subsidy on the edible oils to be distributed among the poor in the country.

He said under VAT, 1,376 articles have been expempted and only a political hue and cry was raised against the new tax system.

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