No powers to impose tax on farm income, says Finance Minister

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday denied any plan to impose any tax on agricultural income, saying the Centre has no jurisdiction to do so.

He issued a brief statement to make the government’s position clear in the wake of a recommendation of the NITI Aayog to impose the income tax on agricultural income beyond a threshold. “To obviate any confusion on the subject, I categorically state that the Central Government has no plan to impose any tax on agriculture income,” he said.He further clarified that the Centre just cannot touch the agricultural income.

“As per the Constitutional Allocation of Powers, the Central Government has no jurisdiction to impose tax on agricultural income,” he said.In the Constitution, agriculture falls in the State List at No 14 while the Centre is specifically barred from levying any tax on the agricultural income as per item No 82 in the Union List which reds “Taxes on income other than agricultural income.”

The NITI Aayog also distanced from the report and clarified that the views of its member Bibek Debroy on taxing farm income were “personal and not those of the Aayog.”It also denied reports in many dailies on Wednesday that the NITI Aayog’s draft Three year Action Agenda has recommended that Farm Income in India be taxed to expand the existing Income Tax base.

By : Free Press Journal Bureau | Apr 27, 2017