Shimla: A privilege enjoyed by every elected members of Himachal Pradesh state assembly including the chief minister and the speaker of being exempt from paying income tax on salaries – a tax otherwise mandatory for every tax worthy individual in the country, stands withdrawn as the state cabinet decided to promulgate an ordinance to the effect.
Presided over by the chief minister Jai Ram Thakur, the state cabinet at its meeting on Wednesday gave approval for promulgation of Himachal Pradesh Payment of Income Tax on Salaries and Allowances of Certain Categories Ordinance, 2022 from the current financial year.
“Now the Income Tax shall be paid by the individual members i.e. Chief Minister, Ministers, Speaker, Deputy Speaker and MLAs,” stated the cabinet press release.
It may be mentioned here that Section 12 of the Salaries and Allowances of Ministers (Himachal Pradesh) Act, enacted in the year 2000 had exempted all ministers from paying income tax on their salaries and allowances and section 11-A of the Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly (Allowances and Pension of Members) Act in force since 1971 had exempted all legislators from paying income tax on their salaries and allowances.
All income tax dues of the honourable members of the legislature were being paid by the tax payer through the state exchequer. A minimum of Rs 2.5 lakh income tax per legislator for 68 members would save the heavily debt ridden state a minimum of Rs 1.7 crores annually.
Promulgation of the ordinance would put an end to legislator members income tax exemptions
HRTC To Raise Rs 110 Cr Loan For Paying Retirement Dues
Unable to pay pending liabilities of death cum retirement gratuity and leave encashment dues, the state cabinet granted state public transport service provider HP Road Transport Corporation to raise a loan of Rs 110 crore from banks at competitive rates.
The cabinet approved providing state government guarantee for raising of the loan.
Shimla MC Elections Due, Cabinet Gives Nod For Development Plan
Doing away with Shimla interim development plans, the cabinet after a gap of 43 years put its stamp on the Development Plan for Shimla Planning Area.
It needs to be mentioned that election to the Shimla Municipal Corporation are scheduled to be held within two months and before the end of the year, elections to the state assembly are to be held.
In Election Year, Handouts Of Panchayat Representatives Increased
The cabinet gave its approval to enhance the honorarium of elected representatives of Panchayati Raj Institutions.
The honorarium of Chairman Zila Parishad would be Rs. 15000 instead of Rs. 12500, Vice Chairman Zila Parishad would be Rs. 10000 instead of Rs. 8000, Member Zila Parishad would be Rs. 6000 in place of Rs. 5000 per month.
Honorarium of Chairman Panchayat Samiti would be Rs. 9000 instead of Rs. 7000, Vice Chairman Panchayat Samiti would be Rs. 6500 instead of Rs. 5000 and Member Panchayat Samiti Rs. 5500 in place of Rs. 4500 per month.
The honorarium of Pradhan Gram Panchayat would be Rs. 5500 in place of Rs. 4500, Up Pradhan Gram Panchayat Rs. 3500 instead of Rs. 3000 and Member Gram Panchayat would get Rs. 600 per month instead of Rs. 500, the cabinet release stated.
Other Cabinet Decisions
The cabinet gave its consent to demolish five old (unsafe) government buildings of Wildlife Wing (Forest Department) for construction of 200 bedded Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehreu Government Medical College and Hospital Chamba.
The Cabinet decided to provide Essentiality and Feasibility Certificate/NOC for increasing of B.Sc Para Medical Technology Seats (3 years degree course) in Dr. Rajendra Prasad Medical College Tanda in Kangra district from existing 26 seats to 54 seats.
The Cabinet gave its approval to increase the monthly stipend of PG students of Rajiv Gandhi Government Ayurvedic Post Graduate College Paprola by Rs. 8000 per month from April, 2022.
The Cabinet gave its ex post facto approval for premium rates of Rs. 1000 or Rs. 365 for three years under Mukhya Mantri HIMCARE Yojna and also enhancing its validity period for three years. It also decided that registration of new cards under this scheme would be carried out throughout the year.
The Cabinet decided to relax the condition of possession of atleast 5 kanal agricultural land for registering the tractors purchased for agriculture purposes under Custom Hiring Centre Scheme under the centrally sponsored Sub Mission on Agriculture Mechanization.
The Cabinet decided to include Gram Panchayat Jhungi in Development Block Nihri in Mandi district by excluding it from Development Block Gohar.
It decided to open Jal Shakti Vibhag Section at Hatgarh under Jal Shakti Sub Division Baggi-II and one Jal Shakti Section at Sainj under Jal Shakti Sub Division Gohar in Nachan Vidhan Sabha area of Mandi district.
The Cabinet also decided to open Jal Shakti Vibhag Section at Balh Ropa (Chuhar valley) under Jal Shakti Sub Division Padhar in Drang Vidhan Sabha area of Mandi district.
It also decided to open new Primary Health Centre at Bandal, Gram Panchayat Kashaud in Mandi district alongwith creation and filling up three posts of different categories.
The Cabinet gave its nod to open Health Sub Centre at Bakhali in Gram Panchayat Tandi in Mandi district to facilitate the people of the area.
It also decided to open new Division of Jal Shakti Vibhag at Rajgarh in Pachhad Vidhan Sabha area of Sirmaur district alongwith requisite posts.
It also gave its approval to open new Ayurvedic Health Centre at village Kandobayla in Dadahu tehsil of Renukaji Vidhan Sabha Area in Sirmaur district along with creation and filling up of 3 posts of different categories.
It decided to open new primary school at village Rigarwala in Gram Panchayat Kaulawala Bhud under Education Block Surla in Nahan Assembly Constituency of Sirmaur district.
The Cabinet decided to create a Sub Division of Public Works Department at Jainagar in district Solan alongwith creation and filling up of six posts of different categories.
The Cabinet gave its approval to the proposal to amend the Development Plan for Solan plan area.
It also decided to open a new Section of Public Works Department at Balgar in district Shimla.
It gave its consent to create and fill up one post of Instructor Food and Beverage Service Assistant in Government ITI Shimla, one post of Instructor COPA in State-of-the-Art Government ITI Sunni, one post of Instructor Electrician in Government ITI Women Bilaspur and one post of Instructor Information Technology in State-of-the-Art Government ITI Sunni.