Taxing Agricultural Income!
Can Agricultural Income be taxed in India?
Sure, by common consent, we gave ourselves a Constitution which provides for taxation of agricultural income, but who is authorised to make legislation on taxation of agri incomes? Under entry 46 of List II of the Constitution the States are EXCLUSIVELY EMPOWERED TO LEVY TAX ON AGRI INCOME.
Does the law prohibit levy of tax on agri income anyone else?
Yes, under entry no. 82 of the List I of the 7th Schedule, the Union is PROHIBITED FROM LEVYING INCOME TAX ON AGRICULTURAL INCOME.
So where is the confusion?
As the Constitution stands, there is NO LEGISLATIVE COMPETENCE FOR THE UNION TO LEVY INCONE TAX ON AGRI INCOME. When there cannot be a law enacted for taxation by the Union, why the itch to tax agri income as a Union Taxable Income ?
It has been reported that agri incomes totalling @ inr 3000 crore escapes taxation under income tax based on personal/ corporate holdings generating income from agriculture!
Who gave the Union authorities to make an estimate regarding income arising out of agriculture and account it as ‘escaping’ taxation? Especially when the income is mandated under the constitution to be taxable by the States!
I know of at least one state which has enacted a law on this subject and that is the Kerala State in 1991.
Agri incomes in Kerala are taxed and from a cursory reading of the Act, it only taxes incomes from holdings over 5 hectares of land and the income arising there from are taxable.
I also remember that there was a case decided by the Chief Justice of the Kerala High court in 2004, along with a puisne judge Sh. Sankaran, wherein the issue was whether income arising out of a building, which was in the vicinity of the agri area and used for storage arising out of non clearing of the produce by the buyer of the produce, and the rent/ charges earned by the company was to be taxed, as Agri income or not.
The CJ of Kerala concluded that based on the 1991 State Act, the income was Agricultural and hence taxable under that statute.
There is at least one state which has enacted a statute to tax Agricultural income, so it is not an unoccupied field either. So why COVET A STATE SUBJECT?
Robbing Peter to pay Paul has been the mantra for all financial policies . National law making is getting covetous of the potential gains arising from taxing some states, especially those states which earn out of cash rich cash crops and “use” it for “national development”!
The Constitution has given enormous powers under List I of the Constitution for the Union to develop/ protect the Nation, whereas agriculture which is terrain, climate, and worker based is best left in the hands of the state politicians who could within a short period react to situations emerging or even make distinctions based on the quality of land and climatic conditions, for example certain produce from certain taluks are taxed at a higher rate than similar produce from certain other taluks, and give concessions based on their disabilities. Sitting far away from the terrain, how would it be proper or pertinent to make laws and change rules compatible with the exigencies of the climatic conditions prevalent in those areas. The time lag to take corrective measures from a far off place would be time consuming.
Another important factor is that the ruled should believe that they are being ruled by a Ruler sensitive to their needs. That makes it mandatory to have a local person’s face to the ideology! Whatever that may be😊
Archive for February, 2018
In our Democracy an Assertion is worth more than a thousand Abstentions, unfortunately it doesn’t factor the Negativity attracted against that one Assertion. Which means the negativity of those thousand votes go unheeded in the computation of the victor’s tally. Consequently leaders who are unacceptable to a sizeable chunk capture power and make policies compatible and convenient to their votaries! This type of default option has led Indian Democracy up the garden path.
In an election there are votes which are obtained because the voter ASSERTS his preference, but some voters prefer a candidate merely to avoid another contestant- this is no choice though expressed by a vote, it is the negative vote which could not be cast, as there is no provision for that. The only option available is to invalidate his own vote by choosing NOTA.
NOTA is merely an exercise of franchise with no quantitative difference to the counting.
Instead, if an option is given to the electorate to cast a VETO against a candidate and if one VETO cancels out one ASSERTIVE VOTE for that candidate, though that candidate may be popular yet if he is unacceptable to a sizeable chunk, it is possible that a more ACCEPTABLE candidate with fewer Veto votes may EMERGE, who ultimately may have more nett assertive votes with less negativity .
This would pave the way for getting new leaders and the parties wouldn’t be able to control the electorate through money and paid media!
Let me exemplify this, supposing out of 100 votes, 30 supported X and cast Assertive Votes in favour of X, but 20 VETOS are against X, then the nett votes he received would be 10. This would leave the balance 50 votes meaningful, as even a person with 11 ASSERTIVE VOTES and no Vetos, would trump X, though X had received more number of votes.
I suppose we should empower people to express their single transferable vote either as an assertion for a candidate or to negative a candidate.
This method would ensure that Disguised Frankensteins do not escape the notice of the discerning, as their numbers are few but virtuous.
The positive part of this NEGATING CHOICE would ensure that that Negating Choice would cancel out a vote of Assertion.
Only one vote ought to be given and the option should be with the voter to either make it an ASSERTIVE VOTE or a NEGATING VOTE. The final tally should be that the person with the maximum votes of Assertion is chosen.
This method would make the voters more than conquerors, as collectively if people decide to keep someone out, it would be easier yet that would be at the cost of an Assertive vote for the voter as he has to use his vote as a VETO and not as a vote.
Maybe with this system, we may be able to keep some of those “popular” leaders out because of the attrition of a sizeable electorate sacrificing their votes for a VETO.
The NOTA is a meaningless exercise, as it neither Asserts nor Vetos any of the candidates in fray. It is a palliative for the voter to believe that he voted and that nobody else had exercised his franchise with no quantitative difference. It is a clever ploy by those well entrenched to assuage the weak conscience of the indifferent voter!
What say you, TRUMP?
Did Joseph tell Jacob about his brothers’ deed of having sold him for a price to the Ishmaelites after him having become the minister in Egypt? I think so. He reported all matters to his father and to destroy his brothers’ credibility he’d have done that further he couldn’t have concocted a better story than telling the truth as to how he ended up in Egypt. Truth stated to his advantage! Or had he learnt the lesson, not to carry old and damaging tales to others, with all those terrible experiences? Maybe. But he in all probability to wangle the birthright he might have stated the fact. But what was the fact? He wrote the history in Egypt! God gives the good man the opportunity to give final touches to history.
One of the new baking company chains, which has caught the fancy of the Madrasis is OLD MADRAS BAKING COMPANY. There is an outlet in the Kilpauk area of Madras(presently Chennai) on Landon’s Road and my wife loves the Tuna Salad served in the outlet. It is reasonably priced at ₹ 250 @ 4.1 $. Though I share the salad, which is exceptionally good, it is more for the Jazz, mostly traditional, which sets the background to the tuna and the green tea, which captures my attention.
With enormous storage in our iPhones with iTunes retailing songs on a reasonable price of ₹ 12-20 apiece, one grows used to those old downloads, which have lost their novelty, though high in sentimental value. The enormous space helps retain those old sentimental tunes for those days when out of the blue, those tunes waft in our memory unsought. So where does one add to the repertoire?
The calmest place is THE OLD MADRAS BAKING COMPANY with its Jazz playing, while one lets one’s spouse enjoy the tuna salad.
If the tune doesn’t catch my fancy, I just let go; if it does I turn on the app called SHAZAM, with which my boys fooled me for quite a while identifying western classical tunes in a jiffy. Discover the jazz tune and just download the tune for future hearing.
So when I told my friends that I’m in Landon Bakery, they presume I am in a bakery in London – some benefit out of some jazzy aspirations.