Kolkata, Jan 11: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday slammed the Centre for IT notice to Durga Puja committees in the city.
Inaugurating and laying the foundation for a slew of projects in North 24 Parganas district, she said, "In Bengal, people from all castes and creeds, all religious sects celebrate Durga Puja. Now the Left has allied with the BJP. They are now sending notices to the Durga Puja committees and asking for their expenditure details as they need to pay income taxes. Do people know the details of how much money you have looted during demonetisation? How much money has been deposited as income tax?."
" There are many trusts and temples across India. There are religious places like the Tirupati, the Tarakeshwar, the Furfura Sharif, the Golden Temple, the temple of Balaji, the temple of Ganapati, the temple of Jagannath Dev. Will they pay income tax? The organisers of the Durga Puja do not do it for their profit. They organise a festival for the people. It is a festival for the community. Unity of all religions is harmony. These are all non-profit organisations. They do not need to pay income taxes, " she stated.
' Secondly, a Puja is a religious ritual – why should income tax be paid for it? Thirdly, it is the common people who give donation to organise these Pujas. The political parties and the Central Government do not pay a penny. Our State Government has given Rs 10,000 to the clubs for community development. You are trying to get money from these clubs. Are you trying to stop the Durga Pujas? If you are trying to stop the Durga Pujas, remember, we will not keep quiet. I will urge all the clubs to unite and protest against this dictum, ' Ms Banerjee said.
' How much income tax is being collected from the real thieves? The real hoodlums are all staying in foreign countries while are clubs are being harassed for income tax. Now, will they ask for income tax for performing Roza during the Ramzan? Will they ask for income tax for cooking? Will they ask for income tax from journalists for taking pictures? People will pay income tax while they will make an income by looting the money of the masses. This is how the country is running, ' the Chief Minister asserted. (UNI)