Land compensation: Govt admits to wrongly taxing farmers

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Old 24-Sep-2015
Post Land compensation: Govt admits to wrongly taxing farmers

The government today admitted to have wrongly deducted tax from compensation given to hundreds of farmers whose 126 acres of land was acquired for laying 27-km-long and 200-ft-wide Kurali bypass.
PWD Minister Janmeja Singh Sekhon admitted to the mistake when Congress MLA Jagmohan Singh Kang, raised the matter in the Vidhan Sabha during the question hour.
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had to intervene in the matter when Sekhon sat in the well of the House seeking a deadline for the refund of the TDS amount.
The PWD Minister said the farmers had been paid only half of the compensation so far and the deducted amount would be adjusted during the payment of the remaining money.
Badal said he was in the know of things and would ensure the farmers get full compensation and the wrongly deducted amount returned to them.
Kang took strong exception to the reply stating it was wrong to deduct tax. He read the Income Tax and the Land Acquisition Act saying the farmers were not liable to pay income tax. Amid arguments and counter-arguments, Sekhon said he had been informed by the officers concerned of the error committed at the district level.
Sekhon insisted the matter was actually not dealt by his ministry as it was a revenue matter. Speaker Charanjit Atwal asked him to reply to the question on when the tax would be returned. As Sekhon insisted the money would be adjusted in the remaining installments of compensation, Kang rushed to the well of the House seeking timeframe for the refund. At this juncture, the CM intervened to pacify the Opposition.
For the 27-km-long Kurali bypass, the government had acquired 126 acres of land from about 150 farmers in 15 villages. Five of these villages are in Chamkaur Sahib sub-division and the remaining Kharar sub-division.

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