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Punjab: Plywood firms for curbing tax evasion

LUDHIANA: During a state-level meeting of the Punjab Plywood Manufactures Association (PPMA) members asked Punjab Industry Minister Anil Joshi to keep a check on tax evasion that takes place when wood crosses outside Punjab and when it comes inside the state.

Joshi addressed the industrials at the meeting at which PPMA Chairman Ashok Juneja explained about the losses the plywood industry in Punjab has been suffering from. Poplar and Eucalyptus wood is transported out of Punjab without paying 12.5 per cent VAT. To save another 2 per cent central sales tax (CST), woods are taken from routes with no barrier that are yamunagar and other cities of Haryana. Thus the Punjab Plywood Industry saves 14.5 per cent of tax.

The plywood from Haryana is sold off at cheaper rates in market. This disparity needs to be checked and also questions are raised on how excise officials have allowed this tax evasion. The price at which wood was being sold earlier was Rs 300 a quintal due to which farmers had lost interest in doing agro-forestry but now saplings have been sown in large numbers as the price has increased to Rs 1,000 per quintal. The market is still short in supply of wood as most of wood stock is being sent out of the state. The members decided that the government must grant subsidies to the plywood units. The agro-forestry provides an average income of about Rs 1 lakh per acre and hence the government muct promote it among the farmers. Source: Punjab Newsline Network