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HindustanTimes Mon,21 Apr 2014

Now, Azam offers to quit panel on resource mobilisation

Manish Chandra Pandey Manish Chandra Pandey, Hindustan Times  Lucknow, February 15, 2013
First Published: 12:50 IST(15/2/2013) | Last Updated: 12:59 IST(15/2/2013)

Azam Khan, the number two minister in the Akhilesh Yadav government, has offered to resign from one more committee.

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His fourth 'resignation' in 11 months, this time as head of the resource mobilisation committee, came hours after UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav rejected his three-day old resignation as chairman of the Kumbh-mela committee.

Khan, who had previously threatened to quit over non posting of doctors in Rampur and then again after he was divested of the responsibility as minister incharge of Meerut, is now angry because the recommendations to raise state’s revenue made by his committee in December weren’t being taken seriously by the government.

Thursday’s resignation-threat came soon after Mulayam Singh Yadav had patted him for doing ‘good work’ at the kumbh.

 Khan's resource mobilisation committee had recommended waiving off the entertainment tax exemption on F1 race — started during the BSP regime and that the DM circle rates be revised annually, instead of every two years.

The panel had also recommended that a committee should be formed to regularly monitor the prevailing utility of land, which should then form the basis of its pricing.

The committee had said that the DM circle rates shouldn’t be taken as the final word on fixing land cost and that the same must be monitored at the government level as well.

 Khan is understood to be angry that despite the fact everyone in the resource mobilisation committee, including other senior ministers, had unanimously approved the recommendations yet the departments concerned kept sitting on them.

His writing to the CM that he was upset and the resource mobilisation committee’s work wasn’t as good as the one in Mulayam’s 200607 regime is also being interpreted as Khan’s unhappiness at the manner in which his decisions were being treated now.

A source close to Khan said: “When the resource mobilisation committee under Khan had recommended that FI race be heavily taxed, the intention was purely to raise state’s revenue by taxing the rich. The minister had observed that those who have the capacity to buy tickets worth Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 30,000 certainly don’t need a tax waiver. Similarly, the move to recommend annual revision of DM circle rates was also done with the aim of ensuring that land was priced as per its existing utility.”

Upward revision of excise target, hiking taxes on cigarettes and pan masala were the other recommendations made by Khan’s committee, which also included revenue minister Ambika Chaudhary, panchayat minister Balram Yadav, child development minister Kailash Chaurasia and vice chairman of the state planning commission NC Bajpai.

The term of the committee was recently revised from three months to six months and was to end in June.

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