CHANDIGARH: It seems to be a classic case of pot calling the kettle black with the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal in Punjab blaming the central government for the taxes it (the SAD government) imposed in Punjab, with the party general Secretary and spokesman Prem Singh Chandumajra alleging that the Congress led UPA at the centre was compelling Punjab government to levy new taxes to avail funds from the centre government under various schemes.
In a statement issued here on Friday, Chandumajra said that Punjab government was forced to impose tax on urban property as the central government has made this compulsory in its policy of granting funds to state for urban development.
He said that if state government refused to impose this tax it has to be devoid of Rs 900 crores urban development grant by centre government. He said that Centre government has refused to grant a fund of Rs 1100 crores last year for the same reason.
Describing the Centre government’s act of centralising all administrative powers in its hands as undemocratic and anti people, Chandumajra said that conditions and instructions imposed by Centre government on state governments while issuing grants could not be justified in any case.
He said that there was a strong need of planning at district level rather than at national level because every state has its own geographical, social and economic needs.
Criticising the formula adopted by Centre government for paying back share in the central taxes collected from the states, he said that on one hand centre government has repeatedly reduced this share and on other hand it imposed restrictions on states to use this.
Describing Punjab Congress’s cry over new taxes mere a cheap publicity stunt, Chandumajra said that Congress leaders, who were well aware of reality, were doing so just to misguide the people of Punjab.
Challenging Punjab Congress leaders to get the condition of property tax withdrawn from the Centre government in granting funds to the state, Chandumajra promised that if they succeed, Punjab government would immediately withdraw this tax.
He said that not only this but taxes like service tax and VAT were also imposed by state government under the centre government’s pressure. He said that Punjab government has always tried its best to keep the underprivileged sanctions of society out of the circle while imposing these taxes.