Chandigarh: The ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today took a dig at BJP MLA Anil Joshi and asked him not to politicise the matter, after the Punjab government decided to rollback the `advance tax on stock`.
In a statement issued here, SAD general secretary and party core Committee member Maheshinder Singh Grewal said, "It was shocking as well as unacceptable that Anil Joshi threatened that he would lead an agitation in case an amendment made in the VAT Act was not revoked immediately."
Taking a dig at Joshi, who openly supported traders on tax issue and threatened to lead their protest, Grewal said, "This is most surprising considering the fact that Joshi was part of the decision making process and participated in meetings which decided to amend the VAT Act to control tax evasion cases."
The senior akali leader said all ministers needed to practise restraint and adhere to the principles of coalition "dharma" and collective responsibility.
"This means that all decisions taken collectively should be owned by everyone and no one minister should try to project that he was not part of the decision making process", he said.
Punjab government yesterday announced to rollback the `advance tax on stock` by bringing amendment in the Punjab VAT Act 2005 as it ordered the withdrawal of the amendment made in the first proviso to section 13 (1) of the Punjab VAT Act, 2005 for availing input tax credit.
He urged Punjab BJP President Kamal Sharma to apprise BJP ministers that they should not try to project that they are not part of the collective decision making process.
"It is based on this feedback which was given to Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal by various trader groups that it was decided to roll back ITC on stocks", he said, adding former minister and senior BJP leader Manoranjan Kalia had also made a plea in this regard to the Deputy CM.
Grewal said the fundamental idea behind amending the VAT Act earlier was to control evasion of taxes.
"There was feedback that against the total of 2.49 lakh registered traders, only 1,000 odd traders were paying an annual tax of more than Rs 1 crore and that in the last fiscal year 72,000 traders deposited a tax of less than Rs 1 lakh per annum. As many as 1.44 lakh dealers did not pay any tax".
The SAD leader said though the decision to amend the VAT Act was done to streamline tax collection and control evasion, some practical difficulties were reported by the traders due to which the decision was rolled back