Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday condemned the BJP-led NDA government’s move to send income tax notices to Durga Puja committees in the state and said religious festivals should not be taxed.
“Festivals are festivals. Those who believe in the Hindu religion, observe Durga Puja. It is a matter of excitement and wonders around the globe. Many political parties do not have to pay income tax for the funds they spend during the elections. Then why would the Puja committees have to pay tax? I condemn this attitude,” Banerjee said after holding a meeting with Zilla Parishad members at the state secretariat.
“Moreover, the pujas are mostly organized by collecting subscriptions from people and through sponsorships. The people who give subscriptions already pay income tax and the companies that sponsor, give GST. Durga Puja is not a commercial function, it is a social function. The government has a social obligation towards such programs. So the government cannot take income tax from them,” she said. (IANS)