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Not just UP, five state governments bear tax burden of CM and ministers

Publication: The Times of India
Date: September 17, 2019
URL:      https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/not-just-up-five-state-governments-bear-tax-burden-of-cm-and-ministers/articleshow/71158983.cms

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

In its edition dated September 13, TOI had reported that the UP treasury had been paying income tax of all chief ministers 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 TOI published the report, UP CM Yogi Adityanath announced he would repeal the controversial provision in the Act.

Of the five states where chief ministers and their ministers are exempt from paying income tax, the treasury has been bearing their tax burden in Haryana and Himachal Pradesh since 1966, when the two states were carved out of Punjab.

Ministers’ I-T burden: Uttarakhand may repeal law

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 on Monday 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.
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