Agri Business

Planters urge Kerala Govt to reduce agricultural income tax

Our Bureau Kochi | Updated on September 25, 2011

The Association of Planters of Kerala has called upon the State Government to bring down the agricultural income tax in the State, which is the highest in comparison to the tax levied by other States.

“We fail to comprehend the rationale behind this imposition of tax at 50 per cent, especially when the rates fixed by other States is 30 per cent in line with the Central Income Tax rates”, Mr Thomas Jacob, Chairman, APK, said while addressing the 72nd annual general meeting of the Association here on Saturday.

He said that the election manifesto of the present government calls for a comprehensive review of agriculture income tax and this discriminatory attitude to an industry which has made significant contributions to the State's progress has caused immense anguish to the industry.

“In this era of liberalisation when trade barriers are gradually being phased out, plantation commodities face stiff competition in the domestic as well as in the export market. In this context, there is a compulsive argument in favour of the need to set right this anomaly,” he added.

Plantation tax

Likewise, the APK also questioned the levying of Plantation Tax in Kerala in addition to the basic tax and urged the Government to abolish it with immediate effect. Referring to the report of the Plantation Study Committee constituted by the State Government, he said one of the recommendations was pertaining to the amendment of Kerala Land Reforms Act, where in a provision to use five per cent of the total extent of land for purposes other than plantation activity was incorporated. This proposal, if implemented, would help to mitigate the problems faced by the industry especially the tea sector, he said.

Wage agreements

The Association also sought the support of the Government in resolving all outstanding issues including wage agreements within the confines of plantation labour committee, an industrial relations body committed to resolving industrial disputes on a State-wide basis.

Over the years, the PLC has had the opportunity to negotiate and sign 17 long term wage settlements, all of which served to build up an excellent rapport with the labour, he said.

Published on September 25, 2011

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