Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) legislature party leader Lalduhoma on Wednesday alleged in the Mizoram Assembly that the Central government was trying to levy income tax on Scheduled Tribe (ST) people in the state. Moving a Call Attention Motion during Zero Hour, Lalduhoma said that ST people are exempted from paying income tax under Section 10 (26) of the Income Tax Act, 1961.
The ZPM leader further said that the Ministry of Finance had recently issued a notification instructing the public sector banks to collect 10 per cent of annual interest from Rs 10,000 or above. Lalduhoma added that people of the state who need an income tax exemption certificate needs to travel all the way to Silchar in Assam which is the nearest Income Tax Department office from Mizoram.
Accusing the BJP-led government at the Centre of trying to remove concessions and privileges enjoyed by the tribal people, he urged the Mizoram government to take immediate action as regards the same. Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga replied that after a “proper inquiry”, the state government will take “necessary action”.
Last month, Finance Minister Piyush Goyal (read Goyal had taken over charge of Finance Ministry in the absence of Arun Jaitley) said that people earning up to Rs 9.5 lakh can escape tax liability by taking advantage of saving schemes. In the Finance Bill 2019, the Minister proposed to raise tax rebate for people having annual income up to Rs 5 lakh from Rs 2,500 to Rs 12,500, which will effectively ensure that they don’t have to pay any tax.
In the Bill, standard deduction has also been raised from Rs 40,000 to Rs 50,000, besides a host of tax benefits for home buyers.