Govt may raise tax to cover farmers’ loan waiver, say city Activists

Sushant Ranjan
Monday, 17 July 2017

In October 2015, the government levied a surcharge of Rs 2 on petrol and diesel to defray revenue losses. In April 22 this year, the government increased Value Added Tax (VAT) on petrol by Rs 3 per litre. These increments burdened vehicle owners as they are paying from their pocket. We are positive that the government will impose additional tax in the next 3 to 4 months, which can be ‘Agriculture Tax’

Pune: After imposing 2 per cent road tax on new vehicles following the launch of Goods and Service Tax (GST), city activists fear that in the next three to four months, the vehicle owners may be charged extra as government may impose additional tax to provide for farmers’ loan waiver.

According to the activists, this is the third time the Devendra Fadnavis-led government has hiked the tax.

“In October 2015, the government levied a surcharge of Rs 2 on petrol and diesel to defray revenue losses. In April 22 this year, the government increased Value Added Tax (VAT) on petrol by Rs 3 per litre. These increments burdened vehicle owners as they are paying from their pocket. We are positive that the government will impose additional tax in the next 3 to 4 months, which can be ‘Agriculture Tax’.” said Vivek Velankar, activist.

To avoid losing revenue to neighbouring states, the government had not changed VAT rate and surcharge on diesel.

Experts believe that although the Rs 3 drought cess by the government increased home delivery charges for goods and services, it has not caused an increase in prices of other items as petrol is not used to transport goods.

“The situation was different in 2015 when the state was experiencing severe drought and drought cess was brought into existence. However, the state received good rainfall last year and this monsoon also, rainfall expected to be normal. Then why we are paying ‘Drought Cess’ continuously for two years” said Velankar.

“The citizens are already burdened with high vehicle tax. The government wants to increase revenue, so they impose tax. The government don’t want to see smiles on citizens’ faces,” said Velankar.

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