By admin       2016-10-12

Chandigarh, October 11 - Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has rejected a demand by cotton ginners of the state for reduction of market fees on the crop following the reports of tax evasion. Khattar has rather told the authorities concerned to increase the Haryana Rural Development Fund (HRDF) on cotton from 0.8 per cent to 2 per cent. State cotton ginners had been agitating for several days on two issues — they wanted market fees plus the HRDF on cotton reduced from 4 per cent to 1.6 per cent as was being done in 2011-12 and refund of extra VAT they will have to pay on raw cotton in the wake of government’s waiver on cottonseeds and oilcakes. “The market fees and the HRDF on cotton were reduced from 2 per cent to 0.80 per cent by the Congress government to make it on a par with the neighbouring states. Since then, the government issues notification for this every year. However, no notification was issued by the government this year, forcing us to agitate,” said an office bearer of the Haryana Cotton Ginners’ Association. During their meeting with Khattar recently, the ginners told him that while the notification to reduce the HRDF from 2 per cent to 0.8 per cent was issued in 2011 for an unspecified period, the market fees was reduced every year till July 31, necessitating a new notification with effect from August 1 every year. Sources said while Khattar told the Excise and Taxation Department to examine their demand of refund on VAT, he got annoyed when he came to know that the ginners had been evading market fees even after reduction in its rates on their demand. The sources said the collection of fee from cotton had dwindled in four years from 36.53 crore in 2012-13, Rs 29.80 crore in 2013-14, Rs 16.28 crore in 2014-15 and Rs 8.65 crore in 2015-16. Khattar, according to the sources, took a serious note of the evasion and directed the authorities concerned to increase the HRDF, too, from 0.8 per cent to 2 per cent.

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