Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Thursday, Jun 17, 2004
Industry & Economy
No new taxes: Rosaiah
Hyderabad , June 16
THE State Government has reiterated that it will not levy any new taxes in the upcoming Budget, notwithstanding the poor financial situation.
Addressing a press conference here on Wednesday, the Finance Minister, Mr K. Rosaiah, said the Government didn't have enough nerve to levy new taxes.
He, however, evaded a question on Government's move to levy a cess on petrol, saying that he just meant there would be no new taxes, leaving enough hints that the Government might take the cess route to generate income.
Mr Rosaiah, who had a meeting with top officials of at least six revenue-generating Ministries as part of pre-Budget exercise, said there was nothing to feel happy about the State's financial position, though it was not in intensive care.
"There is a huge gap between expenditure and income. We need to bridge that gap. It will take some time," he said.
Earlier in the day, he was closeted with Principal Secretaries of Commercial Taxes, Excise, Transport, Registration, Mines and Geology and Forest Departments to assess their performance. "We told them to rise to the occasion to let the Government honour its commitments," he said.
Stating that it was a routine exercise, he said the Government was still assessing the financial situation. "Our endeavour is to put in place fiscal discipline," the Finance Minister said.
Mr Rosaiah will attend the Finance Ministers' Conference scheduled to be held in New Delhi on June 18.
Meanwhile, Mr Rosaiah criticised the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) for trying to stall efforts to revive the Somasekhara Commission that probed the Yeleru land scam. He said it was the TDP Government that appointed the Commission.
"Now we want to revive the commission, allowing Mr Somasekhara to complete the job. Leaving no scope for any misgivings, we have decided not to appoint someone else to conduct the probe," he said. "We find no reason to reconstitute the panel as it had almost completed the probe."
Referring to TDP's demand for probe by a sitting Supreme Court judge, Mr Rosaiah wondered what stopped the erstwhile Government from doing the same.
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