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Kanara Chambers welcome move to introduce VAT

Our Bureau

Mangalore , March 11

THE Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) and the Kanara Small Industries Association (KSIA) have welcomed the move of the State Government to implement value-added tax (VAT) system from the next fiscal.

Presenting the Budget proposals for 2005-06 in the State Legislature on Friday, the Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister, Mr Siddaramaiah, had said that the State is all set to introduce VAT in the place of sales tax on all commodities, except petrol, diesel, aviation turbine fuel and sugar cane from April 2005.

Speaking to Business Line here on Friday, the KCCI President, Mr A. Srinivas Rao, said that the threshold limit for tax is fixed at Rs 2 lakh in Karnataka VAT, while it is Rs 10 lakh in the neighbouring Kerala. In such a situation, Mr Siddaramaiah's inclination to follow Central VAT is a welcome move, he said. The threshold limit is higher in the Central VAT.

The KSIA President, Mr M. Krishna Bhat, said the decision to impose special entry tax on goods coming from non-VAT states in a good move.

Mr Rao said that fishermen in coastal Karnataka have got a small relief in the State Budget. The Government was earlier extending subsidy to fishermen for diesel up to 50,000 litres. This has been increased to 55,000 litres in the Budget, he said.

Mr Rao felt that the State Budget should have given attention for the development of Dakshina Kannada also. There is no mention about the State's contribution for the improvement of airport in Mangalore.

Mr Bhat said that no special benefit has been mentioned for small-scale industries (SSIs) in this budget. The budget proposals have not earmarked funds for improving infrastructure in industrial areas, he added.

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