Monday, June 12, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Uniform Central ST soon
Value added tax from April 1
From Raman Mohan

HISAR, June 11 — As part of its ongoing tax reforms campaign, the Centre now proposes to introduce uniform rates of Central Sales Tax in all states, it is learnt. This will be the second most important tax reform after the introduction of uniform sales tax rates last month.

According to highly placed sources the proposal is likely to be given the go ahead at a meeting of Chief Ministers and Finance Ministers of all states to be held in Delhi on June 22. Union Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha will preside over the meeting.

The sources said at present CST rates varied from state to state and item to item ranging from 1 per cent to 4 per cent. The Centre now planned to introduce uniform rates of CST in all states and on all products. This will end the anomalies in CST rates which put businesses in some states at a disadvantage because of higher rates. In Haryana CST is charged at the rate of 4 per cent while Chandigarh charges just 1 per cent.

In another important decision the Centre has decided to levy Value Added Tax (VAT) from April 1 next year. This proposal is also on the agenda of the June 22 meeting. According to the proposal the tax will be charged on the difference of price of the product at every finishing stage. For example if a yarn manufacturer buys cotton at Rs 100 per unit and sells the yarn at the rate of Rs 150 per unit, the difference of Rs 50 will attract additional tax on this amount. Likewise, if the yarn is knit and the finished product’s price rises to Rs 200, the difference of Rs 50 will attract VAT again.

According to the sources while most of the states had already informally agreed to the implementation of uniform CST, many had reservations about the modalities of introduction and collection of VAT. The states want that they should get ample time to train their staff and to computerise their sales tax offices.

That explains why the new tax is proposed to be levied from the next financial year. The states have been informally told to take all necessary steps in this direction by then. However, the sources said, the Centre was unlikely to oblige.

The idea behind VAT too is to bring about uniformity in the sales tax structure. Several states, including Haryana, are even now charging VAT within the ambit of sales tax. Similar arrangements are in place in other states too but there is no uniformity. This leads to large-scale evasion and arbitrary imposition of tax by officials. Uniform VAT is expected to bring about transparency in the tax structure.

Another ticklish issue of making the submission of C-forms by business houses purchasing materials from other states is also likely to be decided at the meeting. The Centre wants the submission of C-form mandatory. This in effect will put an end to consignment sales. This step is also aimed at making the sales tax structure uniform and transparent. Most states have been opposed to consignment sales, but big business houses have been opposing any move to bring such sales within the ambit of sales tax. The Centre is now determined to push this through.


Christian preacher murdered

JALANDHAR, June 11 (UNI) — A young preacher of Christianity was found murdered in his rented house in Kaniawali village located amid upmarket Urban Estate residential locality in the city yesterday, reports today said.

The Senior Superintendent of Police Mr Gaurav Yadav, SSP, confirmed that Ashish Prabash of Batala was found stabbed to death in his one-room house in the village. He said a case of murder had been registered and an investigation launched.

Ashish, an orphan in his early twenties, was associated with India Campus-Crusade for Christ and worked for its wing, Jesus Films Ministry, by showing documentaries and other films on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, mostly in the countryside of Punjab.

The wing’s state coordinator V.I. Phillip said Ashish had joined the organisation as fulltime preacher in January, 1998 after completing his training. Ashish had appeared for his BA (final year) examination this year.

Witnesses at the crime scene said the killers, who seemed to have gained a friendly entry into the house, tried to set it ablaze in an apparent bid to destroy evidence. But telltale signs of murder in the form of stab wounds were visible all over the body of the preacher. There were multiple cuts on his neck, chest and other parts of the body. An empty can of kerosene found in the room indicated that the killers after murdering him tried to set the house on fire but the fire.

The neighbours said Ashish generally left home on his bullet motor cycle early in the day and returned late in the evening. They said since he had a gas ‘chullah’ at home, it seemed the kerosene can might have been brought by the killers known to the victim.

They said they had heard that his father had left some property to him and if it was true that his wife had deserted him, taking away the child with her, one of these factors could have been responsible for the murder. But the police has not arrived any conclusion.

Adisen Abid of Church of North India at Urban Estate said Ashish, who spent Friday afternoon with him, had no personal enmity with anybody.

An acquaintance of Ashish said that the father of the victim had some litigation pending in a Batala court and Ashish used to frequent Batala and Gurdaspur in this connection. He said Ashish’s father, Gulzar Mashih, had indeed left some property at Batala and opened Asra Model School after leaving police service.

The police has recovered some certificates from the house of Ashish. His television set was found burnt but the cooler and the refrigerator were intact in the house, whose main iron gate was locked from inside when the crime was detected by the construction workers.

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
120 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |