Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal Friday took up the wealth tax issue with the BJP National president Rajnath Singh and senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley urging them to ensure that the proposal is not passed by the Parliament on May 6. Badal has also written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and sought time to discuss the issue.
Badal and his deputy,SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal,will be leading a delegation to the PM to urge him to withdraw the governments decision and not to push forward with the proposed amendments in the Finance Bill. By levying the wealth tax the Union government is forcing the farmers to shun agriculture,which will put the food security of the country in peril, Badal said.
An emergency meeting of the cabinet also urged the Centre to immediately withdraw any proposal to impose wealth tax on agriculture tax in the garb of declaring all lands falling within the aerial radius of eight kms of municipal limits as urban land.
A resolution passed at the meeting said the farming community in Punjab was reeling under an unbearable and crippling burden of farm indebtedness to the tune of over Rs 37,000 crore. The plight of the farmer all over the country is shocking. The decision of the Union will prove to be the death warrants for farmers in the country.
The resolution further read: The entire chain of business,trade,industry and marketing chain,including shop keepers and arhtias,would be seriously destabilised and brought to the brink of total annihilation by this decision.
Talking to media,Badal said that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh,as finance minister in 1992,had made it clear that productive assets would not be brought under ambit of this tax. He added the new tax will lead to an additional burden of Rs 30,000 per acre on the farmer of the state annually.
Training his guns on state Congress chief Partap Singh Bajwa,Badal said the move of the partys state body to meet Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram was a mere formality as they were hardly concerned over getting this matter resolved.