Badal writes to PM; seeks intervention on wealth tax issue
Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today sought Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's intervention to ensure that agriculture lands are not brought under the ambit of Wealth Tax Act.
In a letter to the Prime Minister, Badal said that wealth tax could lead to "social disorder and economic crisis".
Badal requested Prime Minister's personal intervention to ensure that agricultural fields were not brought under Wealth Tax Act.
In the letter, Badal highlighted the "potential dangers" of wealth tax on agriculture and the financial problems it could create for farmers.
Badal said that his party will strongly oppose the Centre's decision to impose wealth tax on farmers owning land within 8-km of urban areas.
The Chief Minister has also made a similar request to Finance Minister P Chidambaram and other Union Ministries directly or indirectly related to the issue.
Badal also wrote to chief ministers of all states, urging his counterparts to oppose the imposition of wealth tax.
He said, "This would also lead to widespread economic devastation of and unrest among agriculture labour and trade, business and industry establishments and persons directly or indirectly linked to agriculture."
Badal launched a broad-based nation-wide initiative to build a "political and social" consensus against imposition of wealth tax on agriculture lands.
Badal also wrote letters to leaders of all national and regional political parties, including their MPs, asking them to oppose the move within and outside the Parliament, the Chief Minister's office said.
Leaders cutting across party lines supported Badal's initiative, Chief Minister's Advisor on National Affairs Harcharan Bains told reporters here.
There is a growing realisation among the leaders approached so far by Badal that wealth tax on agriculture would affect not only farmers but a whole range of economic activity, he said.
Badal has pointed out to political parties that the impact of this decision would be felt also in small and medium traders dealing with retail of farm produce, Bains said.
Further, it would also impact producers and retailers of fertilisers, pesticides and other items used as agricultural inputs, the SAD leader said.