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Panel recommends octroi abolition in Maharashtra
August, 22nd 2006
Profession tax in municipalities, additional VAT, property tax hike mooted -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Impact of proposals By the imposition of profession tax Rs 1,000 crore could be collected. The VAT collection would be Rs 1,800 crore -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The study group formulated by the Maharashtra Government for `Devising alternatives to octroi' in its report has recommended imposition of `profession tax' by Municipal bodies, the levy of additional value added tax (VAT) and increased property tax. The 22 municipalities in the State collect Rs 5,572 crore from octroi and levies annually. The study group has recommended abolition of octroi and imposition of new taxes to offset the loss. "The municipal bodies shall be permitted to impose and collect their own independent professional tax. Imposition of profession tax by the ULB's (urban local bodies) would require enactment of a separate Profession Tax Act. Municipal bodies would have an option to collect municipal profession tax themselves or to use the services of Sales Tax Department for the initial one or two years" the report says. The recommendations for changes in property tax are as follows: "The capital value based levy of property tax should also be made compulsory by statute and be enabled by suitable amendments of the respective municipal laws". The recommendations for VAT are: "The State Government shall on behalf of the municipal bodies levy an Additional VAT at the rate of 4 per cent on motor spirits and at the rate of 10 per cent of the current VAT rates on other commodities (of course, excluding "declared goods"). This Additional VAT levy will have to be fully VATable. These Additional VAT receipts will not form part of the Consolidated Fund of the State. The collection shall be kept in a separate account." Mr Subodh Kumar, Principal Secretary (Finance), Maharashtra and Chairman of the group, addressing the media on Monday, said that by imposing new profession tax, Rs 1,000 crore would be collected. The VAT collection would be Rs 1,800 crore and rest of the amount would be collected from hike in property tax. Thus, the losses of Rs 5,572 crore from the abolition of octroi and levies would be offset, he said. No decision has been taken on the recommendations of the report. Rahul Wadke
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