To settle pending C-form cases pertaining to pre-GST era, the Punjab government Monday approved a one-time settlement scheme for traders to clear their pending arrears.
The Punjab One Time Settlement Scheme for Recovery of Outstanding Dues-2021 will be implemented from February 1 and the state exchequer would bear a financial burden of Rs 121.06 crore. All dealers whose assessments have been framed up to December 31, 2020 could apply for the benefit under the scheme till April 30.
The decision was taken in a Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh.
Various trade associations had urged the state government to introduce a one-time scheme (OTS) for the clearance and settlement of outstanding arrears under the Punjab Value Added tax Act, 2005 and Central Sales tax Act, 1956, as per an official statement.
The GST was implemented with effect from July 1, 2017. There were several pending cases of pre-GST tax. For the smooth functioning in GST regime, it is necessary and expedient to dispose of the pending assessments under the Punjab VAT Act, 2005 and CST Act-1956, the statement said.
According to the assessments conducted for the year 2013-14, 40,000 plus dealers with demand of up to Rs 1 lakh would get 90 per cent relief in tax and 100 per cent relief in interest and penalty. They would be required to pay only 10 per cent of the due tax and zero amount on account of interest or penalty. Thus, these 40,000 plus dealers are required to deposit only Rs 6.70 crore against the total demand of Rs 90.52 crore, it said.
In addition, 4,755 dealers with demands ranging from Rs 1-5 lakh would get 100 per cent relief in interest and penalty in the assessments conducted for the year 2013-14.
Meanwhile, the Cabinet, also gave nod to amend the policy of ‘Appointments of Honour and Gratitude to the War Heroes or their Dependents’ with a view to mitigate the problems being faced by dependents of martyred/disabled soldiers in getting the jobs in line with the existing policy.
The amendments in the policy will now allow the family of a martyr to reserve the job for a minor child in case the widow of the soldier does not wish to take up the job herself.
Another provision has been inserted whereby widows of martyrs, who had been constrained to take up Group D posts due to extreme financial hardship, would be allowed to take a fresh Group C appointment provided they had upgraded their educational qualifications accordingly.
These amendments, along with certain others, would pave the way for the next of kin to avail the benefits being provided to them in recognition of the valour and bravery shown by the martyr.
The cabinet also gave approval for the restructuring of the state’s Information and Public Relations department.
APPROVAL FOR ACQUISITION OF MUBARAK MANZIL PALACE
In another decision, the Cabinet approved the acquisition, conservation and use of Mubarik Manzil Palace in Sangrur’s Malerkotla. To facilitate the acquisition, the state will provide Rs 3 crore to the owner Begum Munawwar-ul-Nisa as consideration for transferring the property with all its rights to the state government.
The chief minister said this decision would be instrumental in preserving the rich legacy of the state and to reconnect younger generations with the glorious past.
Begum Munawwar-ul-Nisa, the successor of Nawab Sher Mohammad Khan of Malerkotla, had written to the state government saying that the more than 150-years old palace, spread over an area of 32,400 sq ft, is a valuable heritage property and needs to be properly conserved for future as an integral part of history of erstwhile Malerkotla state and Punjab.
She said she desired to hand over the palace to state for acquisition, conservation and use.
The expected financial liability involved in purchase of this proposed protected monument and likely financial implications arising out of existing court cases is around Rs 5 crore.
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