Mitra apprehensive over strengthening IT Act, GST


Kolkata, Feb 16 (PTI) West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra today expressed apprehension over providing more teeth to the Income Tax Act in this years Union budget by removing Section 132A and allowing arrest by taxmen under the new GST Act.

With the removal of the Section 132A, people would now be subjected to harrasment by the taxmen for carrying out search, seizure and raids, Mitra said in the Assembly.

He pointed out that even the Goods and Services Tax legislation allowed arrest by department officials directly which was not in the VAT law requiring filing of FIRs.

“We had fought against this but had not been able to win. However, subsequently it was diluted with the provision that under Rs 2 crore tax liability it will not be applicable,” he said.

As regards revenue deficit, he said, in 2010-11 it was 3.75 per cent and in 2015-16 the same had dropped to 0.97 per cent.

On the fiscal deficit front, the same was 4.24 per cent to 2.22 per cent in 2015-16.

He said debt to GDP ratio had also improved under the Mamata Banerjee government.

However, CPI-M member Sujan Chakraborty picked holes in Mitras assertions, pointing out that to reporters that the states share in the total revenue had slipped and whatever rise in revenue had been witnessed it mostly accrued from excise from liqour and electricity tax & duties.

He alleged that the state government was not implementing the Centres 2013 land policy only to give a boost to land mafias.

He also demanded that the honorium for ICDS and Asha workers be raised by Rs 2000 against the existing just Rs 500 a month, while for SSK/MSK teachers it should be raised to Rs 18,000.

Mitra also chose the occasion to criticise BJP member Dilip Ghosh for his remarks on Amartya Sen. PTI

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