New Delhi: The Uttar Pradesh government on Friday announced that its ministers will pay their own income taxes. The development comes just hours after it was reported that Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and ministers of his Cabinet do not pay their income taxes from their own pockets under provisions of the UP Ministers’ Salaries, Allowances and Miscellaneous Act, 1981.
This is possible due to a section of the Act, which makes the state government pay the income tax of all ministers. The amount goes to the Income Tax (I-T) authorities from the state exchequer.
Speaking to media, Uttar Pradesh Finance Minister Suresh Khanna said that as per directions of the Chief Minister, all ministers will now pay their own income taxes and the state shall move to end the said provision.
According to reports, a total of 19 Chief Ministers, from across party lines, chose not to pay taxes from their own pockets. These include incumbent Yogi Aditynath, his predecessor Akhilesh Yadav, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Mayawati, Kalyan Singh, Rajnath Singh, ND Tiwari etc.
The UP Ministers’ Salaries, Allowances and Miscellaneous Act was introduced by then Chief Minister Vishwanath Pratap Singh, who later become the 7th Prime Minister of India from December 1989 to November 1990.
Section 3, sub-sections 1 and 2 of the Act says, “Every minister and minister of state shall be entitled, throughout the term of his office, to a salary of one thousand rupees per month. Every deputy minister shall be entitled, throughout the term of his office, to a salary of six hundred and fifty rupees per month.”
Sub-section 3, meanwhile, says, “The salary referred to in sub-sections (1) and (2) shall be exclusive of the tax payable in respect of such salary (including perquisites) under any law relating to income tax for the time being in force, and such tax shall be borne by the state.”
Defending the Act, VP Singh had said that the same was needed as most ministers were from poor backgrounds and had meagre incomes.
According to the affidavit submitted for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections 2017, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has assets worth Rs 95 lakh.