Finance Minister Arun Jaitely has said the government has no plans to tax agricultural income, including that of prosperous farmers, saying a rich farmer is “a very rare institution” and not the norm.
In an interview , he said the farm sector is in distress and there was no question of taxing agricultural income.
NITI Aayog member Bibek Debroy had late last month stated that farmers should be liable to pay tax on their incomes at par with other citizens after seasonal fluctuations are adjusted.
I have already said that we are not in favour of doing that,” he said.
Stating that the agriculture sector is under distress, he said farm holdings are very small in size.
“The rich farmer is a very rare institution. It is not the norm. It is only a rare exception and therefore, at a time when you need to support agriculture because of the distress, this is hardly the time to deflect the issue and start taxing agriculture. This is not the time. They are under distress,” he said.
The finance minister said farmers should be helped and not taxed. “The government is very clear (on that),” he added.
“In any case, the Central government has no power. It is the power of state governments (to tax farm income) and my own view is none of the states is going to do it,” he said.