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Agri income likely to stay out of tax net
August, 21st 2006
Govt rejects panel suggestion -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In order to empower the Union Government to impose income-tax on agriculture, `taxes on agricultural income' would have to be taken out of the State list through a Constitutional amendment. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The Union Government has not accepted a Parliamentary Committee's recommendation to bring within the tax net the agricultural income of persons having both agricultural and non-agricultural income, after setting a threshold limit for exemption. In a statement tabled in the Lok Sabha last week, the Finance Minister, Mr P. Chidambaram, indicated the Government's inability to accept this recommendation of the Standing Committee on Finance. The statement detailed the status of implementation of recommendations of the Standing Committee pertaining to the departments of economic affairs, expenditure and disinvestments and the department of revenue. For persons having income from both agricultural and non-agricultural sources, the Committee had said that the time had come for the Centre to look at fixing a threshold limit beyond which the income of such persons from agricultural sources could be brought under the tax net. The threshold limit could be fixed in consultation with the State governments, the Committee said. The Union Government has, however, highlighted that the taxation of agricultural income was within the purview of the State governments and outside the purview of the Union Government. However, agricultural income is included in the total income for fixing the rate at which tax is to be calculated. It was also pointed out that in order to empower the Union Government to impose income-tax on agriculture, `taxes on agricultural income' would have to be taken out of the State list through a Constitutional amendment.
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