Wednesday, Dec 25, 2002
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By Our Special Correspondent
Although the Rajnath Singh committee of the BJP which was set up to study the Kelkar report and make its own suggestions submitted its report to the party's national executive committee meeting yesterday, it was withdrawn, and will be revised and finalised and re-submitted after incorporating some new suggestions.
Mr. Singh today indicated that the "final meeting" of the committee headed by him would take place on December 26 after which he would submit his report to the party. The Finance Minister, Jaswant Singh, will also be given the report. The party is certainly hoping that most of its suggestions will be incorporated by the Finance Minister in the Union Budget to be presented in February-March 2003.
It seems that the party has not yet made up its mind about the proposed tax on agricultural income of those who also have income from other non-agricultural sources, although there is a view that often the zero tax on agriculture is used by some to change the "colour of their black money to white". The Kelkar committee had suggested taxing such individuals, but tax on agriculture, in any form, has been a politically sensitive issue.
With elections to nine Assemblies next year and the Lok Sabha elections the following year, the party may not like to disturb the current status of zero tax on agriculture.
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