Special Correspondent

‘This policy is adding to the misery of the common man'

NEW DELHI: The All India Tax Advocates Forum has criticised the Delhi Government for making amendments to Section 9(1) of the Delhi Value Added Tax Act and enhancing VAT on diesel and aerated water besides other items that are commonly used by people. This, it said, had caused untold misery to both consumers and traders.

In a statement, Forum president M. K. Gandhi said the Delhi Government was trying to be in an advantageous position to bargain with the Centre once the new General Sales Tax regime is in place. “This short-sighted policy of Delhi Government is adding to avoidable misery of the common man and additionally resulting in revenue loss for the time being as the VAT in neighbouring States is much lower,'' he said, adding that this had obviously forced the people of Delhi, including traders, to procure items from these States at lower rate.

Apprehension

“By amending section 9(1), the Delhi Government has managed to corner at least 10 per cent of the total revenue in advance. But in doing so, it has lost sight of the fact that such an amendment will act as a disincentive for the new aspiring traders who will now need to muster more capital to start the business. Needless to say, this thoughtless amendment will add to the already insurmountable problem of unemployment,'' Mr. Gandhi said.

Expressing apprehension that this move would encourage the role of inspectors and thereby corruption, the Forum president has urged the Delhi Government to reduce the VAT and bring it at par with the prevalent rate in the neighbouring States. “This would benefit the people and help the Government in avoiding revenue loss to itself,'' he said.

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