The Leader of the Opposition in the state Assembly, Shaktisinh Gohil, has demanded that 25 per cent surcharge on value-added tax (VAT) imposed by the state government be withdrawn in the coming budget.
The surcharge was imposed in 2008-09 on the pretext of development. In a statement issued on Wednesday, Gohil said it should be withdrawn with a view to ease the situation arising out of prise rise, which has affected the economically weaker sections.
The Congress leader said that though the surcharge was imposed for one year only, it continued for two years. It must now go because the entire country was facing the price rise problem, he said.
Gohil alleged that coriander and chillies produced in Gujarat were cheaper in neighbouring Maharashtra because the government there did not charge VAT on essential commodities. But the Gujarat government not only charged high VAT, it also imposed surcharge on it.
He said that when the government imposed the surcharge, it was said it would amount to additional burden of Rs 800 crore, but the real amount collected through surcharge crossed the Rs 2,000-crore mark.