Chamber of Commerce and Industry while expressing its reaction to the budget proposals presented in the J&K State Legislative Assembly today by Finance Minister A.R. Rather pointed out that the efforts of the government to reduce the fiscal deficit are praise worthy.
According to a press release, the Chamber welcomes the several VAT exemption like Havan Samigiri (packed or loose), google dhoop and idols as well as VAT relaxation in sale of durries, quilts, blanket covers, table cloths, pillow cases, CFL lights and saffron. However, the Chamber lamented that the items like dry fruits, desi Ghee etc have not been given any consideration and pointed out that VAT rate of these items remains 13.5% whereas in the adjoining states it is 5%. This difference diverts lot of trade of these items to the adjoining states, they elaborated. For developing Jammu and its surrounding areas more money needed to be earmarked, Rs. 333 crores is a very conservative figure, the Chamber further averred.
Chamber also welcome reduction of VAT from 13.5 % to 5% on food items served in hotels as a gesture to boost this sector. Chamber appreciated the finance minister for continuation of exemption of VAT on food grains. The continuation of remission of VAT to the industrial units was also welcomed.
Chamber had made an appeal to exempt the vegetables and fresh fruits from the purview of Toll Tax but this has not been acceded. Exemption of Toll tax in these items would definitely bring the rates of these essential items down and benefit the common man, the Chamber had earlier suggested.