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Assam budget 2020-21: CM hold discussion with different ethnic organisation, tea industry seeks waiving of Agricultural Income Tax

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Wednesday held pre-budget discussion with the representatives of different ethnic organizations.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Feb 26, 2020, 10.58 PM IST
Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Wednesday held pre-budget discussion with the representatives of different ethnic organizations. The last full budget of BJP led government in Assam will be presented on March 4. In the meeting, Chief Minister Sonowal sought suggestions from the representatives of ethnic communities to improve their socio-economic conditions and consequently feature them on the budgetary provisions.

Sonowal said that the present State government since taking over the power has been working to safeguard the cultural, linguistic and customary traditions. He also said that State government has already taken steps to allot land pattas (rights) to the indigenous community and the process has already taken off and by March 2020 one lakh beneficiaries will be distributed land pattas. He also said that in the coming financial year another one lakh land pattas will be given. He also said that his government has been working diligently to reflect the aims and aspirations of ethnic communities of Assam in different schemes and programmes.

Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that even in the past after discussion with the six communities, efforts were undertaken to reflect their aims and aspirations. Even now also the government would show sincerity in giving adequate representations of the issues and demands of different ethnic communities in the state budget. Tea Association of India (TAI) in a pre-budget sought waiving of Agricultural Income Tax as has been done in the case of other major tea producing regions of the country at least for next 5 years.

The memorandum stated, "to incorporate a provision towards extension of Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT) credit set off for a period of 10 years under the Assam Agricultural Income Tax Act. To allow the business losses to be carried forward for at least 8 years for set-off against future profit as per the Central Income Tax Act 1961 (Section 72) instead of present 3 years under Section 16 of the Assam Agricultural Income tax Act, 1939."

With tea industry facing crisis, TAI has sought to reimburse 100% SGST for all kinds of machineries used for as also the spares utilized by machineries deployed for cultivation and manufacturing of tea. "To allow long term leases typically for 30 years or more to enable tea estates for effectively plan investment/ execute development activities."

TAI added Government of India has for stressed industries like jute, coir etc provided relief on terms of provident fund contribution, therefore whether the Government of Assam to consider a similar relief for the tea industry.

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