Cabinet decides to roll back its earlier decision to levy 5% VAT on sugar
Author(s): City Air NewsChandigarh, August 28, 2012: In a bid to step up the pace of development and streamline delivery of services to the people at the cutting edge, the Punjab Council of Ministers under the chairmanship of Punjab Chief...
Chandigarh, August 28, 2012: In a bid to step up the pace of development and streamline delivery of services to the people at the cutting edge, the Punjab Council of Ministers under the chairmanship of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today took a series of decisions to mop up additional resources and streamline governance. All these tax proposals would yield about Rs.900 crore per year.
Disclosing this here today a spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s Office said that the Cabinet decided to offer an option of re-employment for the period of one year to all its retiring employees at the age of 58 years. This has been done to cope up the shortage of 35000 employees whose recruitment would take about a year’s time.
To ensure that the decision does not adversely affect the employment prospects of the youth, the maximum age limit for recruitment to government services would be enhanced from 37 to 38 years.
On the resource management side, the Cabinet decided to roll back its earlier decision to levy 5% VAT on sugar. The government would thus take a liability of Rs.100 crore to ensure that the common man got sugar at cheaper rates.
The Cabinet also approved the proposals of the Excise and Taxation department which would generate an additional revenue of Rs.400 and loss of Rs.100 crore on account of the withdrawal of VAT on sugar thereby giving Rs.300 crore net every year. The rates of VAT would be increased by 0.5% from the existing rates. However, the declared goods mainly food items have been exempted from this hike. Other proposals include the enhancement of luxury tax on the Hotels and marriage palaces from the existing 4% to 8%, rationalisation of VAT on shoes, imposition of processing fee of Rs.800 on VAT dealers and increase in lump sum tax payable by brick kiln owners.
The Cabinet also gave go ahead to the proposal of the Local Government department to levy property tax on the unit area basis. The tax would be payable on self assessment basis, based on the actual market value of the property to be determined by the municipal corporations/committees in consultation with the concerned deputy commissioners. This step would generate an additional revenue Rs.180 crore annually.
The Cabinet also approved to constitute one member tribunal for the quick disposal of land acquisition cases by amending Section 60 and other related sections of Punjab Town Improvement Act, 1922. The member shall be called the President of the tribunal, who would be a person qualified for appointment as a judge of the High Court of Punjab or be a retired or serving officer not below the rank of the Financial Commissioner Punjab. The term of the President of the tribunal would be for two years and shall be eligible for the reappointment at the end of the term.
The Cabinet also approved to amend Punjab Motor Vehicle Taxation Act 1924 for the provision of penalty and punishments against the defaulters for not paying vehicle tax at the state entry points. Buses plying on contract carriage permit or tourist permit of other States entering into the State of Punjab without payment of Motor Vehicles Tax on entry point would be liable to imposition of penalty for the first offence of Rs. 50 thousand and Rs.1 lac for the subsequent offence and subsequently the erring owner or driver of such vehicle would be punished with imprisonment up to two years.
The Cabinet also approved to rationalise the motor vehicle tax on different types of vehicles which was likely to generate an additional revenue of Rs.108 crore annually. The motor vehicle tax would be levied at the uniform rate of 6% on all types of vehicles besides lump sum motor vehicle tax would also be levied on the transfer of all kinds of vehicles ranging from Rs.250 to Rs.7500. Similarly, the motor vehicle tax has been enhanced on goods carriage, contract carriage, private service vehicles, tourist buses and vehicles plying on the All India Tourist Permit.
The Cabinet also approved the proposal of Revenue department for levying the social infrastructure cess for health and education at the rate of 1% on the time of registration of land. The upper limit for registration fee had been increased from Rs.30000 to Rs.2 lakh. The increase in mutation fee and facilitations charges at the Fard Kendras and suvidha centers had also been approved by the Cabinet. All these proposals would fetch additional revenue of Rs.480 crore every year.
The Cabinet also approved the Mining Policy-2012 for the auction of Sand and Stone mines in the state along with the policy guide lines for the registration & working of Stone Crushers with a clause that Environmental clearance fee would be borne by the contractor. Number of mines had also been increased to bring down the prices of sand and gravel under the new policy.
The Cabinet also gave nod for recruitment of 5078 teachers of the Master Cadre and 100 of Art & Craft on consolidated pay of Rs 6000 and Rs 5800 per month for three years on the contract basis amongst the TET qualified candidates. Similarly, the cabinet also approved to increase the contractual pay of 12970 teachers working in SSA and RMSA equivalent to the pay of regular government teachers. This decision would entail a financial liability of Rs.70 crore on Punjab government and Rs.130 crore on GoI.
The Cabinet also approved to revive 60 vacancies of the PCS (Executive Branch) cadre, of which 30 would be filled through direct recruitment and 30 by promotion.
The Cabinet also gave approval to fill 250 vacancies of class-IV on contingent paid basis (full time) out of total 460 such vacant posts in police department after reviving these posts. These class-IV employees would be paid salary of Rs.4000 per month.
The Cabinet also gave approval for filling 292 posts of different categories in the Punjab Home Guards & Civil Defence department by taking them out of the purview of Punjab Subordinate Services Selection Board through a departmental selection committee after following the prescribed recruitment process.
The Cabinet also approved the creation and recruitment of 23 posts including one Senior Medical Officer, four Medical Officers Specialists, one Medical Officer Dental, 14 Para Medical Staff and three Clerical staff on regular basis for Community Health Centre at Kamahi Devi in Hoshiarpur district.
The Cabinet also approved the new policy of placement/ transfer/ posting of the Medical Officers (Specialist and MBBS or BDS). All the health institutions have been divided into 4 different categories A, B, C & D depending upon the level of difficulty. New MBBS doctors would be required to serve for atleast 4 years in most difficult “D” category hospitals or 6 years in less difficult “C” category. Only thereafter they would be eligible for posting in district/sub divisional hospitals in category A and B. The cabinet also approved the recruitment of specialist doctors on the basis of both walk-in and campus interviews.
The Cabinet also gave nod to enhance the pension of Chairman and the Members of the Punjab Public Service Commission at the rate of Rs.1300 and Rs.1100 per month respectively for each completed year of service as the chairman or member as the case may be subject to a maximum of Rs.7800 and Rs.6600 per month for chairman and member respectively.
The Cabinet also gave approved the setting up of Common Facility Center (CFC) for sanitary fittings manufacturers at Mohali through a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV). The SPV has been allotted a plot D-191 focal point Phase 8-B in Mohali to enable the establishment of the said CFC.
The Cabinet also gave ex-post facto approval to the policy of 3% reservation in the promotions to the disabled employees of Group A, B, C, D w.e.f. March 6, 2011. Likewise, the Cabinet also exempted the disabled persons from 50% fee charged for direct recruitment test for Group A, B, C & D posts.
In an endeavour to create excellent infrastructure in the state, the Cabinet also approved a new bus stand at Rupnagar thereby transferring of 4.54 acre land of Improvement trust Rupnagar to the Depot Manager PUNBUS Rupnagar and 2 acre to General Manager Punjab Roadways Rupnagar. In lieu of it, 40 kanal land of Punjab Roadways Rupnagar depot workshop and administrative complex besides 21 kanal 9 marla land of existing bus stand of PUNBUS would be transferred to Improvement Trust Rupnagar and PUDA respectively.