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Punjab to give tax-free perks to its ministers in the new bill

Since 1947, the government in Punjab had been paying taxes on salaries, allowances and perks of the ministers, till the Amarinder government decided to amend the law last year.

SNS | New Delhi |

Once the proposed Bill for amending the East Punjab Ministers’ Salaries Act, 1947 is passed by the Vidhan Sabha, Punjab state ministers, as well as the Leader of the Opposition, will no longer have to pay income tax on the perks allowed to them.

At a meeting of the Council of Ministers on Monday, headed by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh it was decided to resolve the anomaly created inadvertently by a March 19, 2018, decision of the cabinet.

Though the Chief Minister had earlier announced the decision to tax the salary and allowances of ministers, the entire Section 2-C of the East Punjab Minister’s Salaries Act of 1947 was inadvertently removed while making the necessary amendment. As a result, all the perks also got included in the tax ambit of the ministers, which in some cases resulted in the tax liability turning out to be higher than the salary itself.

Since 1947, the government in Punjab had been paying taxes on salaries, allowances and perks of the ministers, till the Amarinder government decided to amend the law last year. To end the anomaly, the Council of Ministers has now decided to introduce and insert the section 2-C.

The proposed section would now state, “The free furnished house and other perquisites admissible to a minister under this act shall be exclusive of income tax, which shall be payable by the government.”