Par­lia­men­tary panel clears Pan­jab Univer­sity job for Man­mo­han Singh You will have to pay for `250-cr fund to make Maha roads safer

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Nee­lam Pandey nee­lam.pandey@hin­dus­tan­ Kailash Korde kailash.korde@hin­dus­tan­

For­mer PM Man­mo­han Singh will soon re­turn to his alma mater, Pan­jab Univer­sity, to teach eco­nom­ics.

A par­lia­men­tary panel on Thurs­day re­sponded to a query from Singh who had sought to know if his tak­ing up the job will in­vite dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion as an MP un­der a law that pro­hibits law­mak­ers from hold­ing po­si­tions with mon­e­tary ben­e­fits. “We have cleared it. Man­mo­han Singh’s job as a teacher will not at­tract the pro­vi­sions of of­fice of profit,” said BJP MP Satya Pal Singh, the panel’s chief.

In April, the univer­sity an­nounced that Singh will head its Jawa­har­lal Nehru Chair, which was va­cant for a long pe­riod. Singh ac­cepted the of­fer. The panel had asked the HRD and law min­istries to re­spond to Singh’s query. Af­ter it got writ­ten re­sponses, the com­mit­tee on of­fice of profit met on Thurs­day to take a de­ci­sion.

The state plans to cre­ate a Rs250-crore fund to make roads in Ma­ha­rash­tra, which wit­ness 65,000 ac­ci­dents ev­ery year, safer. But your safety will come at a price — the money for this cor­pus will be gen­er­ated through a cess that will be levied on newly reg­is­tered ve­hi­cles.

The state trans­port depart­ment, which is­sued an or­der on the plan ear­lier this month, said the cess will also be levied on ve­hi­cles be­ing brought to Ma­ha­rash­tra from other states. The amount hasn’t been fi­nal­ized, but sources said it is likely to be 10% of the ve­hi­cle tax charged dur­ing reg­is­tra­tion. The tax is around 7% of the cost of the ve­hi­cle in the state. So those buy­ing a small car worth Rs3 lakh may have to pay Rs2,100 to­wards the road safety fund, in ad­di­tion to the Rs21,000 ve­hi­cle tax.

The gov­ern­ment hopes to col­lect Rs250 crore an­nu­ally through the cess. It also plans to set up a reg­u­la­tory body in­clud­ing sec­re­taries of trans­port, home, fi­nance, pub­lic works and health depart­ments to en­sure ef­fec­tive use of the fund. While the chief sec­re­tary of the state will lead the body, it will have the trans­port com­mis­sioner as its sec­re­tary.

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