The West Bengal government has decided that farmers will not have to pay income tax on any agricultural product for the next two fiscal years, Finance Minister Chandrima Bhattacharya said Monday. The state government has also announced the withdrawal of two types of cess on raw tea leaves for the period. Presenting the Finance Bill in the assembly, Bhattacharya said the current exemption period for agricultural income tax ends on March 31. She also said that the state government has taken up a “detailed and convenient” scheme to resolve issues related to arrears of tax to facilitate sales tax payers.
In her budget speech on February 15, Bhattacharya had said without imposing new taxes, income tax exemption on agricultural produce will be maintained. The West Bengal government has also decided to fill thousands of vacancies in several departments, including minorities and agriculture, official sources said.