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No proposal to bring big farm firms under tax net
March, 15th 2008
The government on Monday said there is no proposal to bring the big agricultural firms under the tax net.

"Under the existing provisions of the Income Tax Act, 1961, agricultural income of any person is exempt from income tax. Currently, there is no proposal to do away with this exemption," Minister of State for Finance S S Palanimanicham told Lok Sabha in a written reply.

He said taxation of agricultural income is outside the purview of the Union Government as 'Taxes on agricultural income' is under the 'State List' of the Constitution. In a reply to a separate query, Minister of State for Agriculture Kanti Lal Bhuria said the recommendation to include agriculture in the 'Concurrent List' was made by the National Commission on Farmers in the 'Revised Draft National Policy for Farmers'.

However, it was not incorporated in the National Policy for Farmers 2007 as it requires a constitutional amendment, he said.

On suggestions for having a separate budget for agriculture, he said, "As the agriculture sector has a large number of inter-sectoral linkages, which are dealt by several ministries and departments of the Central government, all agriculture related matters cannot be perceived under any one single ministry, disregarding the inter-linkages".

Moreover, as agriculture relates to the states, the primary responsibility of policy and programmes implementation lies with the states, the minister said.

The Centre supplements the efforts of the states through appropriate financial and policy supports, Bhuria said, adding "as such, the suggestion for having a separate agriculture budget was not found feasible".

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