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Make standards certification mandatory... Diamond jubilee of Egmore Samskrt School Where a state respects its litterateurs… Shale gas and its shallow future The power-full Hindujas GM Technology at last! Wanted: a second airport for Chennai Tatas moving out of urea production... He saved millions from starvation... Welcome thrust on trade in Modi’s foreign visits... Tax agriculture For whom the bell tolls? A yen for wastage… For whom the MIDS bell tolls? Cement prices continue to rise… Tribute The nuclear option When the President was rendered homeless… Where is Rajaji? Adharma of opposition politics Sweeter prospects for sugar How Air-India loses customs... Remembering Indira Sivasailam... Lesson from Chandrababu Naidu Banning booze... All eyes on Sankara Nethralaya When TN politicians can emulate Kerala's Streamlining mandatory third party cover Return to king coal for urea... 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Tax agriculture

NITI Aayog member Bibek Debroy and Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian have been favouring tax on agricultural income. IE has been advocating this for long. The exemption for agriculture has been resulting in prosperous business sections acquiring agricultural assets (land to a great extent) and often use this for manipulating tax returns. Jayalalithaa, for instance, had shown in her affidavits in the disproportionate assets case, huge incomes coming from her orchards in Andhra Pradesh. 

Just look at the pathetic state of tax payments: hardly around three crore, of the 126 crore population, file tax returns. Of this less than half, around 1.5 crore, pay income tax. One notices large sections of land-owning gentry merrily showing losses on agricultural operations; it is so difficult to keep track of the income and expenditure on such transactions.  Of course, agriculture being a state subject taxing it is under the jurisdiction of the states and since the farming community is a significant constituent of the vote bank, state governments are wary of taxing this sector. 



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