New Delhi [India]: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday asserted that that the Centre has no plans to impose any tax on agriculture income, while acknowledging that as per the Constitutional Allocation of Powers, the central government has no jurisdiction to impose tax on agricultural income.
“I have read the paragraph in Niti Ayog Report entitled ‘Income tax on agriculture income’. To obviate any confusion on the subject, I categorically state that the Central Government has no plan to impose any tax on agriculture income,” said Jaitley.
However, NITI Aayog member Bibek Debroy made strong case for taxing agriculture income, an opinion contrary to the government’s stated position.
He also suggested that exemptions on personal income tax should be removed to increase tax base from the current about 37 million in the country of 1.3 billion of people.
NITI Aayog, the government’s think-tank, earlier called the reporters for briefing on its three-year draft action agenda for accelerating the economy.
In May 2016, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) had advised the NITI Aayog to prepare documents on 15-Year Vision, Seven-Year Strategy and Three-Year Action Agenda.
All agricultural income is currently exempted from income tax, regardless of its size.
While the provision is meant to protect farmers, non-agricultural entities sometimes use it to evade taxes by declaring agriculture as the source of their income. In order to mitigate the generation of black money, the loopholes need to be plugged. (ANI)