Shillong, July 6: The National People’s Party (NPP) on Tuesday blamed the previous Congress-led government for the state’s financial problems and said the current MDA government has been introducing tax reforms to earn revenue.
In a statement, NPP spokesperson Marcuise N Marak said it is “amusing how Mukul Sangma comes out once in a while, without any facts and figures, to gain petty political mileage with the help of lies”.
“At a time when the government is going all out to recover all the bad debts and overturning all the bad financial decisions made under the Congress, Mukul is trying to pass on the buck to the MDA government,” he said.
Stating that Mukul should not forget about the bad financial situation he had put the state through, Marak said, “During the Congress government, tax collection was at its lowest, with the state losing out hundreds of crores of money due to the non-collection of taxes.”
Referring to CAG findings, Marak said Mukul should take responsibility for all wrongdoings.
The NPP leader claimed that under the current MDA government, taxation and collection have increased multiple times.
He said unlike the Congress government, which went into a state of confusion and desperation after their only source of revenue was snatched away by the NGT ban on rathole mining, the MDA government has approached governance with a long-term strategy.
“In 2020, the MDA government had brought in the Meghalaya Settlement of Arrears Act (under State Taxation Acts) and the department had been vigilant enough to see that no one dodges the law of the land to escape the payment of taxes,” he said.
“The one-time settlement scheme (OTS), which Mukul has been beating the drum on without any knowledge, encourages defaulting tax-payers to come forward and pay 70% of the total dues and avail a waiver for the remaining 30%. This means that tax-payers, who had not paid even a single penny to the government since the time of the directionless Congress government, are now being incentivized to come forward and clear the majority amount of money,” he added.
He said so far, the department has identified 50 big tax-payers and has been able to recover Rs. 9.66 crore in taxes, an amount in which the Congress government had put no effort for recovery. An amount of Rs 19.75 crore remains payable, and the department has given such tax-payers deadlines to pay up the amounts.
“It is necessary to apprise the public that Mukul had put out an allegation that apparently the government had not collected revenue from any of the petrol pumps of the state,” he said.
Also stating that petrol and the VAT for the same is one of the highest sources of revenue for any government across India, Marak said, “It is almost laughable for Mukul to say that the government did not collect revenue from petrol pumps, something which is utilized for running the state’s machinery.”
“After the government provided the facts and statistics, stating that out of the 229 petrol pumps in the state, only 58 petrol pumps had arrears and Rs 5.91 crore had been recovered from them, Mukul slyly went under the cover because he had nothing to say after his lies were exposed,” he added.
The NPP leader alleged these are some of the sly and futile attempts the Congress keeps on making to revive a fading legacy.
“The party has already died out at the centre and in almost all parts of India. With the little bit that they have left here in Meghalaya, they are spending that tiny bit of legacy in lying and manipulating people. We are not surprised. This is and has been the fabric of Congress politics always,” he concluded.