Budget has disappointed all: BJP
New Delhi, Mar 18 (UNI) The Bharatiya Janata Party today criticised the General Budget, saying it had disappointed all sections of people, including industrialists, senior citizens and women.
Initiating discussion on the Finance Bill 2006 in the Lok Sabha, Mr Vijayendra Pal Singh (BJP) said the Finance Minister had not shown the guts to tax the rich farmers though he had proclaimed that he would widen the tax net.
Neither the income tax return system nor the Fringe Benefit Taxes had been simplified. The income tax provisions were harsh and needed to be clarified, he said.
Mr Singh said donations to charitable institutions had now been made problematic with 30 per cent tax proposed in the Budget against the blanket exemption earlier. He felt the doubling of share transfer was not right as it would affect small investors. He wanted some exemption to be given to small investors.
Mr S P Y Reddy (Cong) supported the Budget saying it would help achieve the projected 10 per cent growth in the GDP. Agriculture, which was one of the factors on which the GDP depended, had been given the greatest priority treatment in the Budget. The allocation for water which was one of the main components of agriculture had been increased substantially. Much of the funds for the Employment Rural Guarantee Scheme was going towards ground water development.
Mr Rupchand Pal (CPI-M) said inspite of low rates of corporate taxes, the compliance was not up to the mark. About 500 companies in the country were amassing wealth and earning a profit of Rs 500 crore a year, enjoying the exemptions. Inspite of low rates of taxes, the industries were evading taxes taking advantage of the loopholes in the tax laws, resulting in huge tax arrears.
He expressed the apprehension that the government was surreptitiously moving towards a tax regime to levy tax on small savings at the time of maturity. This would badly affect senior citizens and their dependents whose only source of income was monthly interest from postal savings, particularly in the light of the fact that there was no social security for such people in the country.
Mr Mohan Singh (SP) demanded the immediate setting up of the sixth pay commission for central government employees and suggested that the salaries of MPs should also be entrusted to the same commission.
MORE UNI YS/SN MSJ HS1457