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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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Pitch for business policy

Calcutta, July 25: Finance minister Asim Dasgupta told the Assembly today that the state government should have a “business policy” that could help generate employment.

“Like an agricultural policy or industrial policy, the state government should have a business policy. That will help expand the scope of business and increase employment, both direct and indirect. The Centre, too, should have such a business policy,” Dasgupta said after introducing the finance bill in the House.

He pointed out that there has been direct employment of 58,000 people in the organised sector in the past five years. But, he added, 35,000 became jobless because 266 units were shut down in this period.

According to Dasgupta, greater generation of business would mean more revenue from value-added tax (VAT) and better tax compliance.

The minister told the House that in the first four months this year, VAT revenue increased by 24 per cent.

Dasgupta also had a sop in store for legislators. The MLA Area Development Fund will be raised from the existing Rs 25 lakh to Rs 40 lakh a year, he said.

When some MLAs demanded that the amount be made Rs 50 lakh, the finance minister said: “It will be done in a phased manner. Otherwise, you will forget me.”

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