Raise share of taxes that northeast gets: Tripura chief minister

February 14th, 2009 - 6:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Agartala, Feb 14 (IANS) The Left Front government in Tripura has urged the 13th finance commission to provide a special debt relief package to the state and earmark 10 percent of the total share of central taxes for northeastern states, officials said here Saturday.

“Inter-state and inter-region disparity is not only growing, but also widening to a sense of deprivation and frustration resulting in alienation of a section of youth from the mainstream and associating themselves in terrorism,” Tripura chief minister Manik Sarkar told members of the 13th finance commission here.

Accompanied by top officials, the four members arrived here late Friday and met ministers, officials and representatives of political parties and PSUs and autonomous bodies. They are on a tour of Indian states now.

“The northeastern states need higher share of central taxes to meet the demands on their finances for development and welfare activities,” the chief minister said.

Emphasising on collective response and efforts to rise above the challenges in view of the global economic meltdown, commission chief Vijay L. Kelkar urged the Left Front government to consider joining the new Contributory Pension Fund (CPF) scheme which according to him would limit its future pension liabilities.

The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) led left parties have been opposing the CPF.

The commission also wants to build a national consensus for prompt implementation of the GST (Goods and Services Tax). The GST, which is scheduled to be introduced in April 2010, may become the single most important tax reform India will undertake.

“The northeastern states as per recommendations of the 12th finance commission have been getting 5.44 percent of the share of central taxes and we have proposed the tax share be increased to 10 percent,” Tripura Finance Minister Badal Chowdhury said.

“The revenue base of the northeastern states, which belongs to the special category states, are very poor for various reasons, including absence of big industries, corporate houses, besides a large number of poor people and poor infrastructural facilities.”

The Tripura government has sought Rs.240 billion from the 13th Finance Commission to meet the committed expenditure for the period of five years from April 2010 to March 2015.

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