Government think tank NITI Aayog has distanced itself from the comments made by its member Bibek Debroy on taxing agriculture income.
In a statement issued here yesterday, the Aayog said that said that views expressed by Debroy were 'personal'.
"The views on Taxing Farm Income expressed by Member Bibek Debroy were personal and not those of the Aayog," it said.
The clarification came after media reports said that NITI Aayog or its Draft Three year Action Agenda has recommended that Farm Income in India be taxed to expand the existing Income Tax base.
"The NITI Aayog categorically states that this is neither the view of the Aayog nor is such a recommendation made anywhere in the Draft Action Agenda document as circulated to the Governing Council at the meeting on April 23, 2017," the statement added.
At a press conference on Monday, Debroy had said that 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.
On Tuesday, Finance Ministry Arun Jaitley also clarified the government’s stand on the matter sating ‘government has no plan to impose any tax on agriculture income’.
“As per the constitutional allocation of powers, the central government has no jurisdiction to impose tax on agricultural income," he said.
Taxing agriculture income is a politically sensitive issue and successive governments have refrained from doing so.