Congress accuses government of imposing more taxes, backstabbing middle class

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New Delhi, April 1 (IANS) The Congress on Saturday accused the government of betraying the faith of the people and backstabbing the middle class, saying the common man was being burdened with more taxes while subsidies were being taken away from the needy.

In a statement, Congress communications department incharge Randeep Singh Surjewala said the tax payer was bearing the brunt of experiments by the government.

He said “anti-people” steps by the BJP government have caused insurmountable pain and agony to the ordinary hardworking citizens, hit their savings and daily budgets.

“Deception of voters and betrayal of people’s faith is the hallmark of Modi ji’s brand of politics. The BJP government is making all efforts to hurt and back stab the hardworking middle class and the poor of India,” he said.

Referring to the banking sector, Surjewala said the government has introduced several charges and fees on ordinary citizens.

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He said nationalised banks, including State Bank of India, will from Saturday start charging penalty on non-maintenance of minimum balance in accounts, which has been set at Rs 5,000 for metro branches.

“The bank will permit savings bank account holders to deposit cash three times a month free of charges and levy Rs 50 plus service tax on every transaction beyond that. In metropolitan areas, there will be a charge of Rs 100 plus service tax, if the balance falls below 75 percent of the MAB of Rs 5,000. If the shortfall is 50 percent or less of the MAB (Minimum Account Balance), then the bank will charge Rs 50 plus service tax,” Surjewala said.

He said in case of current account, the levy could go as high as Rs 20,000.

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Surjewala said the government has banned cash payments of over Rs 2 lakh and there will be penalty in case of violation.

He said that government has dealt a big blow to the pockets of crores of people who avail health insurance for their future ailments.

Surjewala said there also had been increase in toll tax for vehicles including buses and trucks.

He said the Centre had decided to withdraw subsidy on sugar sold through Public Distribution system.

The Congress leader said the government has lowered interest rates on small saving schemes like PPF, Kisan Vikas Patra and Sukanya Samriddhi scheme by 0.1 per cent for the April-June quarter.

“The interest rate on one of the most popular small savings schemes — the Public Provident Fund has been cut by 10 basis points to 7.9 per cent, the lowest level since 1980, adversely effecting the savings of crores of Indians and their future,” he said.

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The Congress leader said that changes in income tax rules will also adversely affect people as home loan interest claim on rented property has been limited up to Rs. 2 lakh.

Surjewala said that not filing your income tax return within the deadline – normally July 31 every year – will be also be penalised.

“Delay in filing tax return for 2017-18 will attract penalty of Rs 5,000 if filed by Dec 31, 2018 and Rs 10,000 if filed later. Such fee will be restricted to Rs 1,000 for small taxpayers with income up to Rs 5 lakh,” he said.

Surjewala demanded immediate rollback of these “anti-people” measures.

–IANS

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