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Punjab's tax base shrinking: Minister
August, 25th 2007
Claiming that Punjab's tax base was "shrinking", Cooperative Minister Capt Kanwaljit Singh on Friday strongly advocated cutting government expenditure.

"The tax collection through VAT in Punjab is a meagre five per cent compared to 25 to 30 per cent collected in other states", he told reporters here.

"The state government's VAT collection from agriculture was 20 per cent. However, in the recent times, there had been a decline of 20 per cent in growth of paddy," he added.

Expressing concern over the fiscal position of the state, Kanwaljit Singh - who was state's finance minister during the earlier regime of Badal - said, "State's tax base is shrinking".

"Our industrial growth is negative...there is no big industry in the state," he said.

VAT and other taxes in the state need to be rationalised, he said. However, he stressed that there was no need to burden the people of the state by levying fresh taxes.

Meanwhile, Punjab's Industry minister Manoranjan Kalia suggested low rate of tax and stricter recovery methods.

"The need is to give relief to tax payers and increase the volume of recovery," he added.

Both the ministers were speaking at two separate functions held at same venue.
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