Not just Uttar Pradesh, the state exchequer has been bearing the burden of income tax of serving chief ministers and their council of ministers in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh too for several years.

The UP treasury had been paying the I-T of all CMs and ministers since 1981, when the UP Ministers’ Salaries, Allowances and Miscellaneous Act, 1981 was passed during the tenure of V P Singh on the grounds that the ministers were “poor” and “cannot pay income tax from their own meagre earnings”.

Hours after the TOI published the report, UP CM Yogi Adityanath announced that he would repeal the controversial provision in the Act. Of the five states where CMs and their ministers are exempt from paying I-T, the treasury has been bearing their tax burden in Haryana and HP since 1966, when the two states were carved out of Punjab.

In Punjab, the state treasury had been paying taxes on salaries, allowances and various perks of its CMs and ministers till March 18, 2018, when Captain Amarinder Singh stopped the practice by amending The East Punjab Ministers’ Salaries Act, 1947.

In Uttarakhand, the treasury has been bearing the tax burden of its CM, ministers, assembly speaker, deputy speaker and leader of the opposition ever since the Himalayan state was carved out of UP on November 9, 2000. Since then, the state has seen eight CMs and scores of others whose taxes were paid by the state exchequer. However, Uttarakhand CM Trivendra Singh Rawat indicated that he would follow his UP counterpart in repealing the controversial provision of the Act.

In MP, the state treasury started bearing the tax burden of ministers of all ranks as well as the parliamentary secretary with retrospective effect from April 1, 1994.

This was done during then CM Digvijaya Singh’s regime when The Madhya Pradesh Mantri (Vetan Tatha Bhatta) Adhiniyam, 1972 was amended in June 1997.

As per the amendment, “All allowances payable and furnished residence without payment of rent and other perquisites admissible to a minister, a minister of state, a deputy minister and a parliamentary secretary under this Act shall be exclusive of income tax which shall be payable by the state government at the maximum rate payable by a minister, a minister of state, a deputy minister or a parliamentary secretary, as the case may be.”

No comments: