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BRS says idea of taxing ryots’ income is Modi’s Mann ki Baat

Party leaders flay Centre for doubling investment for farming

January 25, 2023 08:05 pm | Updated 08:05 pm IST - HYDERABAD

Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) has observed that the idea of levying tax on farmers’ income mooted by Bibek Debroy, Chairman of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, in a newspaper article has not come out of the writer’s mind but is Narendra Modi’s Mann ki Baat.

Addressing a press conference here on Wednesday, Rythu Bandhu Samuthi (RBS) chairman and MLC Palla Rajeshwar Reddy along with two other MLCs Karireddy Narayana Reddy and Yegge Mallesahm said Mr. Debroy had also cited how the British had proposed tax on farmers’ income when they ruled India and how tax was levied on farmers’ income income when princely States existed in the country.

Stating that India lived in villages, the BRS leaders said no other government in the independent India had thought in that direction but the Narendra Modi Government was planning to tax farmers’ income. Terming it heinous, they demanded that the Prime Minister stay away from such an idea even though it was in the proposal stage.

“The Modi Government has been recalling several legislations made during the British regime and followed in free India later. How could it go the other way in the matter of taxing farmers’ income?” they sought to know. They alleged that it was inhuman to levy tax on farmers’ income as a majority of them were still living in poverty for various reasons.

In fact, Mr. Modi himself had repeatedly spoken of doubling farmers income and even promised in the BJP’s election manifesto pension to farmers aged above 60 years although his government did not keep the word. Besides, the BJP had also broken its another promise made in the manifesto wherein it had stated that the government would allocate ₹30 lakh crore for agriculture in 10 years, the BRS leaders said.

Instead of doubling the farmers’ income, the Modi Government had doubled the investment cost for cultivation of crops with increase in prices of all inputs including fertilizers, the BRS leaders said and ridiculed Mr. Debroy for his comment that levying tax was in the purview of the State Governments. They sought to know whether he was advisor to the Prime Minister or giving free and unsolicited advice to State Governments.

They accused the Modi Government of planning to kill agriculture and hand over the land resource to corporate companies. The Centre had already reduced the number of Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Yojana (PM-Kisan) beneficiaries drastically and, going by its tract record, it would not hesitate to levy tax on farmers’ income too. They said only the Telangana Government was giving several incentives to farming in the country.

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