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Pulses, besan to cost more in Punjab
Aman Sood/TNS

Patiala, September 20
On a day when the state government backed the BJP-led Bharat Bandh, the consumers in Punjab learnt of a shocker: From Tuesday, pulses and besan will cost more.

This comes following the state government’s move to raise VAT on the two commodities by 0.5 per cent. DETC (VAT), Punjab, GS Gill said besan and pulses were added to the list of commodities to be levied with increased VAT of 0.5 per cent at a later stage.

In a public notice posted on the department’s website and in newspapers on September 18, the Excise and Taxation Department has informed traders, advocates, chartered accountants, cost accountants about the 0.5 per cent hike in the rate of entry tax on 24 listed items.

Wheat flour, maida (branded), suzi, vanaspati and other edible oils (refined and un-refined) have already seen a hike in VAT.

This also flies in the face of a press note issued by the Chief Minister’s office on August 28 (following a Cabinet meeting) that said: “The Cabinet also approved proposals of the Excise & Taxation Department that would generate additional revenue of Rs 400. After setting off Rs 100-crore loss on account of withdrawal of VAT on sugar, additional revenue of Rs 300 crore would be generated every year. The rates of VAT would be increased by 0.5 per cent from the existing rates. However, the declared goods, mainly food items, have been exempted from this hike”.

Congress leaders said the hike exposed the dual face of the state government which was more concerned about criticising the Centre rather than providing tax relief to the common man. “When it comes to providing pulses to Below Poverty Line families, they are short of budget. Now they are burning a hole in the pocket of everyone in the state,” they said. 





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