Special Correspondent

Party releases `alternative budget' for State

CHENNAI: The Pattali Makkal Katchi on Tuesday advised the Tamil Nadu Government to evolve a consensus among traders on value added tax before introducing it.

PMK floor leader in the Lok Sabha M. Ramadass told reporters, after releasing an `alternative budget', that the State had to announce its position on VAT in this year's Budget. The empowered committee of State Finance Ministers had been urging Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Pondicherry to introduce it.

Asked whether the State government had consulted his party as part of the Budget preparation, he replied in the negative. However, he and PMK president G.K. Mani said their party's election manifesto had been given to the DMK. The `alternative budget' document would also be submitted.

They hoped that salient features of the "alternative budget" would be incorporated in the Budget.

The suggestions

Mr. Ramadass said the State Government could present a tax-free Budget this year. A `samadhan' scheme could be framed for resolving disputes over taxes, embroiled in litigation, and Rs. 7,000 crore earned. There was no need for any change in the stamp duty rate. A State Valuation Authority should be established.

To improve the finances of the States, the Centre should set apart 40 per cent from its pool of tax receipts. Tamil Nadu should be given enhanced royalty for lignite, keeping 1990 as the base period.

The State Government should provide 25 per cent of its revenue to local bodies. The Central share of assistance should be disbursed within 15 days of receipt and there should be no diversion of funds earmarked for local bodies.