Published Date: November 2, 2021


Many in CM's Economic Advisory Council not for cut in VAT on petrol

They reckon it is not an impactful way to use State's scarce sources: Minister

 Many global experts in the Chief Minister Economic Advisory Council felt that the reduction in the VAT on petrol by the Tamil Nadu Government was not an impactful way to use the State's scarce financial sources, Finance Minister Palanivel Thiaga Rajan said on Monday. "We are the only State to have cut the tax on petrol so far this year. There have been two sides to the debate. The experts in the Council said that with only one State cutting the tax, people from other States could cross the borders and take advantage. Tamil Nadu is among the States that have the highest vehicular traffic," he said.

Mr. Thiaga Rajan pointed out that the Council had made several important recommendations that the government acted upon. These included the expansion of the old age pension scheme, 'Illam Thedi Kalvi’ to tackle learning loss among students due to COVID-19 and special packages for micro, small and medium businesses. The Government would extend guarantee for the loans lent to these companies, he said.

The Minister said the Council had supported the Government's initiatives in

data-centric governance and submitted some good suggestions. As part of the initiative, the beneficiary. linked databases of large government programmes such as the public distribution system and the old age pension scheme were being analyzed by the Tamil Nadu e-Governance Agency. The databases, such as the Civil Registration System that maintains the records of births and deaths, could help to carry over additions (to the families) and deletions (on account of deaths) directly to the family card database, he said. Such an approach would eliminate the possibility of deceased persons receiving old age pension and monthly allocation of rice under the public distribution system - "instances of which we have discovered during the review over the past few months", he said.

An analysis of crop and jewel loan data from the cooperative banks led to several irregularities having been unearthed. Among them was the case of one person having taken multiple loans from multiple societies for the same small piece of agricultural land, he said. At some places, jewel loans were given without any jewel having been pledged.

Media: The Hindu