Amarinder wants ministers, legislators to pay own income tax
(4 months ago)
Chandigarh, Feb 5 : With the Punjab government facing severe financial constraints, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday suggested that all elected representatives in the state, including ministers and MLAs, should pay their own income tax.
The income tax of ministers and legislators is currently being paid by the government.
"These taxes are draining the exchequer of the much needed funds," the Chief Minister pointed out, mooting the proposal for self-payment of taxes by all elected representatives, including himself.
The Punjab assembly has 117 legislators.
"Punjab is possibly the only state in the country to follow the system of the government paying taxes for all ministers and MLAs," Amarinder pointed out.
The income tax being paid by the Punjab government on behalf of elected representatives is worth Rs 11.08 crore annually.
"While the bulk of Rs 10.72 crore was for payment of income tax of MLAs, the remaining was for the ministers," disclosed an official spokesperson, after a meeting of the cabinet sub-committee on fiscal management here, where the proposal was mooted by the Chief Minister.
The suggestion, if implemented, would lead to a saving of this entire amount, which the state could then use for various important development works and implementation of welfare schemes, many of which are facing serious hurdles due to paucity of funds, Amarinder said.
In a bid to boost savings for the state government, the Chief Minister has also reiterated his appeal to party colleagues and rich farmers to give up free power subsidy.
Amarinder had first made this appeal during the assembly session in June last year, when he personally set an example by giving up his own subsidy.