New Delhi, Dec 1: The Aam Aadmi Party today claimed that the VAT collection during its 49-day rule was higher than what was collected before it came to power in December last year and after it quit the government.
Former AAP minister and senior party leader Manish Sisodia said the government collected Rs 5666 crore of Value Added Tax (VAT) in the first quarter when AAP was in power, while the revenue declined there after.
"This was all because there was no raid during the 49-day AAP government. The traders were happy and they willingly paid taxes. Whereas the collection for the same period in the previous year (2012-13) was only Rs 4669 crore.
"It is clear that the decision of the AAP government to disallow even a single raid on traders resulted in a 21 per cent increase in VAT revenue collections for the Delhi government," Sisodia told reporters.
He added that the VAT collection fell as soon as the AAP quit the the government.
"At least 200 raids are being conducted every month and these are proving to be counter-productive. The VAT revenue collections for the first quarter of the current financial year are merely at Rs 3808 crore, meaning that a 33 per cent fall in revenue," Sisodia said.
He added the reason behind this support from the traders community are the concrete "pro-trader steps" taken by the AAP government in January and February.
Kejriwal has often backed traders saying majority of them want to do their business with honesty and raids on them by different departments are aimed at harassing and in fact extracting money from them.
"The party does not believe in coercing traders to pay taxes and it knows they will do it with honesty. This belief was strengthened when the AAP government was formed in Delhi, since raids were completely stopped.
The party is backing its assertion with evidence based on facts that coercion does not work and if a government provides an atmosphere conducive for doing business, tax collections go up," Sisodia added.
Incidentally, in a fund collection lunch by its traders wing, the party received Rs 50 lakh from traders for upcoming Delhi assembly polls.
Kejriwal also promised to reduce and rationalise the VAT regime in the national capital, which will help make Delhi a business-friendly place, the party said.