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February , 1999
'Don't hike i-tax slab rates': Jaya lists dos and don'ts for Budget
All India Anna Dravida Munnethra Kazhagam general secretary J Jayalalitha today urged Union Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha not to hike the income-tax slab rates in the Budget and also give tax incentives for investment by allowing a 50 per cent write-off on purchase of shares in approved Indian firms.
In a statement listing out various suggestions to be incorporated in the Budget, Jayalalitha, whose party is a key ally of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party-led government at the Centre, said the two measures would lead to an improvement in the economic climate.
She said tax rates should be maintained at the same level to ensure stability in the direct tax structure and compliance. Tax incentives for purchase of shares of Indian firms would give a boost to the Indian firms.
"After all, the government should help Indian firms without damaging the interests of foreign firms," she added.
Coming out strongly against taxing the farm sector, she said such a measure was bound to encounter logistic difficulties in enforcement.
Among other measures suggested by Jayalalitha was giving 20 per cent of the equity divested in each public sector enterprise to the employees free of cost.
Jayalalitha said taxing income from farm would be a bureaucratic nightmare costing more to collect than the revenue obtained. "Further, the farmers are already getting taxed through indirect taxation. Most vitally, they are doing a national service by giving us self-sufficiency in food. Therefore, they should be rewarded and not penalised," she added.
She said the employees of public sector enterprises, which were being disinvested, could be given equal number of shares. Such a step would ensure immediate benefits for workers from privatisation, she added.
She pointed out that lowering of income tax rates in the last two Budgets had resulted in higher direct tax collections, indicating widening of tax base and higher compliance.
"I trust that the finance minister will take bold steps to help India to a superpower status. Low tax rates, incentives for investors and rapid disinvestment in public enterprises are among the steps I urge him to adopt for the welfare of the country," she added.
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