West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday slammed the Central Board of Direct Taxation (CBDT) over its clarification on the notice to Durga Puja Committees and claimed that it was factually incorrect.
"CBDT has issued a press release clarifying regarding notices to Durga Puja Committees for puja tax. They have made certain claims which themselves prove that they are factually incorrect," Banerjee said in a statement on Facebook.
Banerjee also protested against the income tax notice being issued to Durga Puja committees here today.
"Income Tax authorities sent notices to Puja Committees last year regarding event management including 'Dhaki', 'Purohit', small and village artisans engaged in arts and crafts working in pandals for collecting tax from them through puja committees," she said in the statement.
She also termed tax deduction at source (TDS) as 'Terrible Disaster Scheme'.
"This is undoubtedly a huge burden on them," the Chief Minister said.
"CBDT clarification that no notices have been issued for this year makes little sense. It is only obvious that for pujas held this year, notices will only be issued next year, which is as per their scheme of tax assessment," Banerjee explained asking why the agency is misleading people?
Banerjee said that the press release as a sheer distortion of facts with an aim to create confusion in the minds of local people and puja committees.
"This is an attack on our culture and on our Durga Puja festival. I do not know whether this is being done knowingly or unknowingly, but it is certainly of bad taste, especially when people of all religions, caste and creed participate in our Durga Puja," she said.
She demanded the taxation be withdrawn and said that the festival should be allowed to be celebrated with its usual fervour.
( With inputs from ANI )