3 min­is­ters in Yogi cabinet seek re­peal of tax pro­vi­sion

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Na­tion -

UP hashad19 CMs — in­clud­ing Mu­layam Singh Ya­dav and Akhilesh Ya­dav of Sa­ma­jwadi Party, Mayawati of Bahu­jan Sa­maj Party, Kalyan Singh and Ra­j­nath Singh of BJP and ND Ti­wari of Congress — since the law was en­acted. There have been nearly 1,000 min­is­ters since then.

The move to re­visit the 38-year-old law fol­lowed out­rage within the gov­ern­ment and out­side about how wealthy min­is­ters deemed to be “poor” were shift­ing their tax bur­den on the com­mon man.

Even mem­bers of the Yogi gov­ern­ment have had their in­come tax de­posited from the state trea­sury in the last two fi­nan­cial years. This fi­nan­cial year, the in­come tax bill of Adityanath and his coun­cil of min­is­ters was around Rs 86 lakh and was paid from state trea­sury. UP min­is­ter and gov­ern­ment spokesper­son Sid­dharth Nath Singh said the 1981 law

could be re­vis­ited if all leg­is­la­tors sup­port the move. Another cabinet min­is­ter Shrikant Sharma told TOI the CM is de­ter­mined to re­peal ob­so­lete laws, which are a bag­gage of ear­lier regimes.

At least three cabinet min­is­ters in the Yogi gov­ern­ment had sought re­peal of the con­tro­ver­sial pro­vi­sion in the forth­com­ing spe­cial as­sem­bly ses­sion from Oc­to­ber 1 as a trib­ute to Ma­hatma Gandhi on his 150th birth an­niver­sary.

Aformer min­is­ter in the Congress gov­ern­ment, Ram Kr­ishna Dwivedi, de­scribed the pro­vi­sion as im­moral and against con­sti­tu­tional pro­pri­ety. Congress spokesper­son Suren­dra Ra­jput said the in­come tax buf­fer for min­is­ters may have been jus­ti­fi­able 40 years ago when they would get a pal­try monthly salary of Rs 1,000 but now CMs and min­is­ters have as­sets worth crores of ru­pees. “If their in­come tax is be­ing paid by the state gov­ern­ment, it’s crim­i­nal,” he said.

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