Bengal government announces exemption of agricultural tax for 3 days

Kolkata, Nov 14 (IANS) The West Bengal government has decided not to impose agricultural tax for the next three days on the trucks coming from other states as they were facing an acute cash shortage, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced on Monday.

Truck owners said over 40 per cent of their vehicles have stopped plying following the demonetisation of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes.

“Bengal government has decided not to impose any agricultural tax on movement of trucks for next three days,” Banerjee said.

Banerjee said thousands of trucks carrying perishable vegetables and other essential products are stuck all over the country for the last three days.

“Thousands of trucks all over the country carrying essential goods and perishables facing huge cash shortage. This issue will become even more serious over next few days and push essential prices up beyond control. Quick action needed,” Banerjee twitted.

She said the tax exemption was given to help resume the flow of essential products.

“To save farmers and commoners, perishable vegetables should not be allowed to spoil,” the Chief Minister said.

The All India Motor Transport Association Chief Kultaran Singh said post demonetisation, over 40 per cent of their trucks have gone off the roads.

“Though the central government has exempted the toll tax on national highways till November 18, the truck owners are facing several issues due to the lack of cash flow. Paying the drivers, buying fuel and maintenance is not possible unless government allows to withdraw more cash,” Singh said.