No plan to tax agricultural income, clarifies Jaitley

RSTV Bureau
File photo: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley speaks to media at parliament house after GST bill passed in New Delhi on Wednesday. After an eight-hour debate, the Lok Sabha has passed all four GST-related bills crucial to the launch in July of the country's biggest tax reform since Independence.

File photo: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley speaks to media at parliament house after GST bill passed in New Delhi on Wednesday. After an eight-hour debate, the Lok Sabha has passed all four GST-related bills crucial to the launch in July of the country’s biggest tax reform since Independence.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said the government does not plan to impose any tax on agricultural income, dismissing the suggestion of NITI Aayog member Bibek Debroy.

“I categorically state that the Central government has no plan to impose any tax on agriculture income,” he said in a tweet.

The minister further clarified that as per the Constitutional allocation of powers, the Centre has no jurisdiction to impose tax on agricultural income.

Debroy had yesterday said taxes should be imposed on farm income above a certain threshold to expand the tax base.

“On expanding the base on the personal income tax side, other than elimination of exemptions, is to also tax rural sector, including agriculture income above certain threshold,” Debroy had said.

Taxing agricultural income is a politically sensitive issue and successive governments have refrained from doing so.

Jaitley had earlier on March 22 assured Parliament: “Agriculture income is not taxed and will not be taxed.”