MORE TAXES IN OFFING
BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, Aug 16: In a desperate bid to shore up State finces, the BJP-led alliance government in Assam is now all set to tax the people more in the coming days. The new tax proposals, being monitored and guided by Fince Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma with the aim to locate more sources of revenue for higher mop up — if implemented, will particularly hit the middle class hard.
According to sources, Fince Minister Sarma in a review meeting at Dispur recently, asked the Transport department to take steps for issuing ‘pollution-free’ certificates with logo to every vehicle, as well as hiking registration fees of every new model of any car launched, besides increasing the tax on luxurious two-wheelers.
For availing of pollution-free certificates, vehicle owners will soon have to pay extra fees to the Transport department. As two-wheelers and four-wheelers are now regarded as basic necessities by the middle class, any move to hike taxes and impose new taxes on vehicles will directly or indirectly impact it. Not only that, the Fince minister is learnt to have suggested to the Revenue department to initiate measures for augmenting State coffers, which includes setting targets for mouzadars to collect more revenue. Sarma is also said to have asked the Revenue department to raise stamp duty rates after every five years, a move that will directly affect land-holders.
Sources said the Fince minister Sarma even asked the Excise department “to ratiolize” the number of dry days by capping it to maximum 20 days a year, indicating the State government’s unwillingness to lose out on liquor excise duties.
Pointing to the dismal finces of the State, Sarma is said to have commented in the review meeting that 2016-17 fiscal will be “very crucial” for the government.