SAD-BJP pressure forced withdrawal of farm wealth tax: Badal
Chandigarh: The Centre`s move to withdraw the proposed wealth tax on agricultural land was an outcome of the relentless pressure mounted by the SAD-BJP alliance, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said on Tuesday.
Finance Minister P Chidambaram told Lok Sabha that the proposed tax on agricultural land falling within 8-km radius of a municipal board was being scrapped following apprehensions raised by farmers.
Badal lashed out at the main opposition Congress in Punjab, saying that the party had first completely denied the existence of the problem only to change its stance later.
"Faced with immense and unrelenting pressure mounted by the SAD-BJP, it (Congress) sought to take undeserved credit (for withdrawal of the wealth tax on farmland)," Badal said.
Badal claimed that Punjab Congress chief Partap Singh Bajwa "woke up on the issue only after SAD-BJP and the farmers had already pushed the button and driven Centre to the wall."
"The Centre`s decision finally to... Agree to rollback wealth tax had put Punjab Congress leaders in an extremely ridiculous, embarrassing and pitiable condition," an official release quoted Badal as saying.
The SAD-BJP alliance would await the details of how Congress made a "complete U-turn on the question (of withdrawing the tax)," he said.
"We have to look at the legal and constitutional fine print of various clauses in the amendment in the concerned Act to make sure that no mischief was being played by the government on the farmers," he said.
Meanwhile, in another release, Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda termed it a historic decision and thanked UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chidambaram for the decision to cancel the proposed tax.
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