The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today said after crushing farmers and farm laborers by refusing to implement a comprehensive loan waiver package and denying social welfare benefits to dalits, the Congress government was set to repress all remaining sections of society by enforcing huge taxes on them in the name of social welfare surcharges and professional tax.In a statement here, former finance minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa said the Congress government was devastating the livelihood of the common man by imposing surcharge on petrol and diesel, registration of vehicles, power bills and liquor. He said besides this an additional amount of Rs 200 per month was being imposed on all income tax payers in the name of professional tax.Speaking about the Rs 1,500 crore tax burden, the former finance minister said the Rs two per liter surcharge on petrol and diesel alone would result in a minimum additional burden of Rs 100 to Rs 200 per month on two and four wheeler owners respectively. He said besides this the common man would be charged at least Rs 100 more per month for electricity supply which would be over and above the average ten per cent increase in power tariff which had been effected earlier. He said all this coupled with the Rs 200 per month professional tax would ensure a minimum additional burden of Rs 500 per month on the common man.
Mr Dhindsa said this was not all. People wishing to purchase two and four wheelers would have to shell out a surcharge ranging from at least Rs 1,000 to Rs 10,000 respectively with this amount going up dramatically for high end two and four wheelers. “A ten per cent surcharge has also been affected on excise and license duty on liquor which will result in a further increase in liquor prices”, he added.Stating that these steep taxes amounted to betrayal of election promises of the Congress party which had assured to reduce taxes, Mr Dhindsa said more taxes were in the offing. “The finance minister has announced that the State will go in for an additional resource mobilization of Rs 9,000 crore. This means Punjabis will be burdened with more taxes because the government still has a revenue gap of Rs 13,500 crore despite inflating revenue projections”.The Akali leader said the SAD would not allow the anti-people Congress government to bleed Punjabis with a slew of taxes even as it did nothing to manage finances and go in for prudent fiscal planning. “We will come up with a programme to force the government to take back these ruthless taxes which will crush every section of society”, he added.