Kolkata: Emphasising on tax compliance and simplification of the tax regime to garner additional revenue, the West Bengal Assembly cleared Finance Bill 2011 for raising levies on alcohol and tobacco-related products other than bidis.

Answering the debate in the Assembly on Monday, Finance Minister Amit Mitra said, “In view of the inflation, the government has decided to simplify the tax assessment by not levying tax on the required items.”

He said, “By simplifying the method of tax collection, more and more revenue can be generated.  The businessmen in the state who honestly pay tax will get rebate, but who do not would be punished financially”.

“I have been asked by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee not to levy tax on the people as they are already burdened with high inflation. The CM herself has gone to markets to check prices,” Mitra said.

“The government has raised tax on foreign liquor and tobacco products such as cigarettes, gutkha and pan masala which can cause deadly diseases like cancer,” Mitra told reporters.

For foreign made liquor sold at MRP (maximum retail price), VAT has been increased from 23 percent to 27 percent. Alcohol sold without MRP will attract a VAT of 50 percent against the current 37 percent.”

However, the VAT rate on Color TV, AC and other luxury items remains unchanged at 13.5 percent.

According to the Finance Minister, rationalisation has also been carried out in terms of stamp duty on transfer of property and shares.

The Mamata government is eyeing to achieve 30 percent increase in revenue collection which would ensure an additional revenue of Rs 6000 crore.

(JPN/Bureau)