Communists demand re-introduction of capital gains tax

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Coimbatore, Jan 24 : The Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary, Prakash Karat, has demanded the re-introduction of capital gains tax on equities ahead of budget to be unveiled next month.

Karat said the capital gains tax on equities, scrapped four years ago, should be brought in again.

"Through speculations, a lot of profits are made in the stock market. Earlier, there used to be tax on the profits through sales of shares. The tax was done away with, was abolished in 2004. According to us that was a wrong step. Now, we want re-introduction of the long term capital gains tax for equity transactions," he said.

He also renewed warning to the government on an imminent domestic oil price hike.

"We will protest against any price rise in petroleum products. The government should first come forward and change the tax structure and revise the taxes so that the burden is not placed on the common people," he said.

Finance Minister P. Chidambaram has been holding parleys with various trade groups and experts in the run-up to the Central budget. The budget will be present before Parliament on February 28 for fiscal year starting April 2008.

Just days after Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) blasted off an Israeli satellite 'Polaris', Karat upped the ante slamming New Delhi for being mum on Israel's blockade of Gaza.

"Just because they have occupied Palestinian territory, they continuously shell it, bombard it from there. Now they have stopped. They have closed all the crossings. No supplies can reach Gaza and now they have stopped the supply of fuel. That is what we asked Government of India, why are you keeping quiet about this?" he said.

Israel sealed its borders with the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip last week, cutting fuel supplies to the territory's main power plant and petrol stations and stopping aid shipments that include food and other humanitarian supplies.

It resumed fuel supplies on Tuesday.

The Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt had been mainly closed since June.

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