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North East

Assam tables different figures on ‘land encroachment’ by neighbours on different days in assembly

Guwahati, July 14: The Assam government has tabled different figures regarding alleged land encroachment by neighbouring states on two different days in the assembly.

Border Area Development Minister Atul Bora on Wednesday said that 71 incidents of encroachment of Assam’s land by neighbouring states have taken place in the last five years.
Bora shared the data in a written reply to a question raised by Congress MLA Nandita Das.
However, on the first day of the Budget Session on Monday, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had said that a total of 209 instances of encroachment of Assam’s land have taken place since 2016, when the BJP-led government came to power for the first time.
Sarma, who also holds the Home portfolio, was replying to an unstarred query by the Leader of the Opposition Debabrata Saikia.
A senior government official, when approached for clarification, said that the matter will be looked into.
Both the replies by the two ministers mentioned that these encroachments were carried out by the people of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram and Meghalaya.
Though Sarma did not mention how much of Assam’s land has been encroached so far, Bora said that a total of 69,010.82 hectares of land have been occupied by the four neighbouring states.
The chief minister said that two separate cases against Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh are going on in the Supreme Court to settle the border disputes.
Finance minister tables four Bills in Assam assembly
Four Bills related to Agricultural Income Tax, Value Added Tax, taxation on specified lands and electricity duty were tabled in the Assam assembly by Finance Minister Ajanta Neog on Wednesday.
She introduced the Assam Agricultural Income Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2021 seeking to amend the Act to increase the fine amount for late filing of return for enforcing compliance.
The minister also introduced The Assam Value Added Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2021 which proposes to amend the Act of 2003 by inserting a new sub-section to provide an option of issuance of e-voice with digital signatures by the dealers.
She also tabled The Assam Taxation (On Specified Lands) (Amendment) Bill, 2021 which seeks to insert a new section in the Act of 1990 for applicability of the provisions of Assam VAT Act, 2003 under the Specified Lands Act for its proper administration.
The Bill also seeks to insert a new section for automation of business processes and to empower the Commissioner of Taxes, Assam, to issue instructions with prior approval of the government on e-filing and e-payments, Neog pointed out.

The finance minister also tabled The Assam Electricity Duty (Amendment) Bill, 2021 which seeks to amend the Act of 1964 to insert a new section for automation of the business process and to empower the Commissioner of Taxes, to issue instructions, with prior approval of the government, on the procedure of e-filing of returns and e-payments.
The four Bills have no provisions which would involve recurring or non-recurring expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of the state on its enactment as an Act of the state legislature, she said. (PTI)