CM meets JD(U),TMC,AIADMK leaders on wealth tax

Refusing to acknowledge the claims of the Punjab Congress that Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram has given his consent to roll back the proposal in the Finance Bill 2013

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi/chandigarh | Updated: April 15, 2014 5:43:00 pm

Refusing to acknowledge the claims of the Punjab Congress that Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram has given his consent to roll back the proposal in the Finance Bill 2013 related to wealth tax,Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his deputy,Sukhbir Singh Badal,on Monday continued their efforts to build consensus over the issue across parties.

The two,along with Bathinda MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Rajya Sabha member Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa called on leaders of Janta Dal (United),Trinamool Congress and AIADMK to muster support for the “national cause”.

A spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s Office said Badal,who called on JD(U) president and NDA convener Sharad Yadav at the latter’s residence,tried to impress upon him to enlist his party’s support to mount pressure on the Centre to move an amendment to the Finance Bill and withdraw the levy of wealth tax on agricultural land.

Badal also apprised Trinamool leader Sudeep Bandopadhya and AIADMK’s Dr Thambi Durai about the impending implications of wealth tax,which “would further destabilise the nation’s overall economic scenario in general and Punjab’s agrarian economy in particular”.

Badal explained the recommendations of Raja Chelliah committee on tax reforms to these leaders,which in its report had recommended wealth tax on non-productive assets.

He sought the leaders not to view the move merely as political and “treat it as an economic issue adversely affecting a wide spectrum of the nation’s peasantry”.

“This unwarranted decision will put the national food security in peril,” he said.

Badal earlier called up BJP President Rajnath Singh and Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj.

Meanwhile,Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal said though he was not sure whether the decision to roll back wealth tax has been taken,the special session of the Punjab Assembly on May 3 will still be held. “If it has been a rollback,we will hold a victory session and not a protest session,” he added.

Farmers write to PM

Chandigarh: The farmers in Jalandhar,who have received IT department notices asking them to pay wealth tax,on Monday claimed the officials had levied the tax only on selective farmers and urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to order a probe into the issue. Calling the I-T department baised,the farmers claimed though many others could have been asked ro pay the tax,no such tax was levied on them.

Badal invites Congress leaders to oppose wealth tax in special session

CHANDIGARH: Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Monday called upon the Congress leadership in the state to ensure attendance of all party MLAs in the special session of the Punjab Assembly on May 3,called to oppose the imposition of wealth tax on agriculture land around urban areas.

Badal spoke to Leader of Opposition Sunil Jakhar and former chief minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal over the phone,urging them to be present at the special session. PPCC president Partap Singh Bajwa could not be contacted immediately because of his engagements in Parliament in New Delhi. The chief minister has also written letter to top Congress leaders.

“This is no time for political one-upmanship. Future generations will not forgive us if we are found lacking in moral courage and commitment to the welfare of our people. I am sure the Congress would not stand in the way of the justice for the poor and suffering people. I request Congress leaders to ensure the presence of each and every member of the CLP in the session,” the chief minister told PPCC leaders.

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