LUCKNOW: The Yogi Adityanath cabinet has passed a proposal that made it mandatory for the Uttar Pradesh chief minister and his cabinet colleagues to file and pay their own income tax.
The cabinet did away with the 40-year-old practice of the state government paying the income tax of the ministers and the sitting chief minister in accordance to the provisions of the UP Ministers' Salaries, Allowances and Miscellaneous Act, 1981 enacted by the then VP Singh government in the state.
The decision was taken during a Cabinet meeting held on Tuesday during which 20 proposals were cleared.
Recently, when the state treasury paid Rs 86 lakh as income tax of the ministers and the CM, Finance Minister Suresh Kumar Khanna said the CM had asked the ministers to pay their own income tax and it would come into practice soon.
Since 1981, this provision has been preserved by successive governments and the CMs. ND Tiwari, Kalyan Singh, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Rajnath Singh, Mayawati, Akhilesh Yadav and now Yogi Adityanath: All have been reaping the benefits of the law for the alst four decades.
As per the provision of a section of the said Act, the salary referred to in its 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.
As per the logic presented by an officer, the then CM had the perception that most of the ministers came from very humble backgrounds. They had lesser means to support them. So, this privilege was extended to them.
However, reality tells a different story. Over the years, UP has seen CMs like Mayawati who has assets worth Rs 111 crore as per her affidavit for the Rajya Sabha polls in 2012. Another former chief minister, Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav, owns assets worth over Rs 37 crore together with his wife Dimple, according to the affidavit filed for the recent Lok Sabha polls.
According to the affidavit submitted for the Legislative Council elections in 2017, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's assets are worth Rs 95,98,053.