Uttar Pradesh To Amend Law That Exempts Chief Minister, Ministers From Paying Income Tax
The Uttar Pradesh cabinet decided to amend the law that exempted the state’s chief minister and ministers from paying their own income tax, burdening the exchequer for the last 40 years.
Successive governments in the state have been shelling out their income tax since 1981.
“The state cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has decided the ministers will now pay their own taxes and recommended amendment in Uttar Pradesh Ministers' Salaries, Allowances and Miscellaneous Act, 1981,” said UP government spokesman Shrikant Sharma.
“As assembly is not is session, it (amendment bill) will be tabled in the House when it meets,” Sharma, who is also the state’s Power Minister, said.
The decision follows criticism in the media of a law enacted in 1981 which ensures that the state’s chief minister and ministers don’t pay any income tax themselves. Instead, their share is shelled out by the state government under the Uttar Pradesh Ministers’ Salaries, Allowances and Miscellaneous Act, 1981.
The law, enacted when Vishwanath Pratap Singh was the chief minister, has been in force during the terms of 19 chief ministers and about 1,000 ministers so far.
The chief ministers who saved on their taxes have been from across parties -- including Yogi Adityanath, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Akhilesh Yadav, Mayawati, Kalyan Singh, Ram Prakash Gupta, Rajnath Singh, Sripati Mishra, Vir Bahadur Singh and ND Tiwari
For the last financial year, the state government paid Rs 86 lakh as the ministers’ tax bill, Sharma said in reply to a question.
It was argued in 1981 that the state government should bear the income tax burden as most ministers were from poor backgrounds and had meagre incomes, a Congress leader and a colleague of the then chief minister VP Singh said.