The Punjab council of ministers on Wednesday enhanced the value added tax (VAT) on iron and steel, including scrap, from 2.5% to 3.5%, and that of the natural gas from 5.5% to 13%.
The decision would help the state earn additional revenue of at least Rs 45 crore from natural gas transactions, a spokesman said here after the cabinet meeting chaired by chief minister Parkash Singh Badal.
To enhance the state revenue by another Rs 20 crore, the cabinet decided to impose 8.5% (plus 10% surcharge) VAT on plastic material such as polyvinyl chloride, linear low-density polyethylene, low-density polyethylene, high-density polyethylene and polymers of propylene, shifting these items from Schedule B to Schedule E of the Punjab VAT Act.
For steel and iron traders, the stages of input tax credit have been increased from two to three, keeping in view their demand, the spokesman said.
The cabinet also gave the nod to a compounding scheme, wherein the tax liability of steel re-rolling millers would be linked with the electricity consumed for the production of finished goods. Those opting for this scheme could discharge their tax liability by paying 50 paisa per unit of the electricity consumed and by way of 2% advance tax on the import of scrap directly or through traders.
The cabinet decided that the Vidhan Sabha budget session would be held from March 12 to 25 for passing the state's annual budget for 2015-16.
The first day of the session would witness the governor's address, while finance minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa would present the budget on March 20.
e- TRIP annulled
The cabinet gave its approval to exempt iron and steel, yarn, mustard, cotton, vegetable oils and paper board from e-TRIP (transportation Information within Punjab), benefiting traders who had shown disinterest in filing online tax details in advance during transactions.
Rahat for shopkeepers
The cabinet decided to extend the ambit of the Rahat scheme for shopkeepers, notifying a lump sum tax of Rs 1,000 for traders with an annual turnover between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 10 lakh. This would continue for the next three years (till March 31, 2018), the spokesman said.
The shopkeepers with less than Rs 5 lakh turnover have been given the option of getting a 'nil tax' liability certificate at the payment of a token fee of Rs 50.
Homage to Randhawa
The cabinet observed two-minute silence to mourn the recent death of former cabinet minister Jasjit Singh Randhawa. The veteran Congress leader had died in Sri Lanka last month.
Policy for unauthorised structures
In a step to cover all unauthorised constructions outside municipal limits across the state under a common planning framework, the cabinet gave its nod to a compounding policy under which owners could apply directly to the housing and urban development department for regularisation of their buildings. This would help owners avail the facility of water supply, sewerage and power connections, the spokesman said.
Jail officials' appointments
The cabinet okayed an amendment to the Punjab State Civil Services (appointment by combined competitive examination) Rules 2009 to recruit deputy superintendent (jails)/district probation officers through the combined competitive exam to be conducted by the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC).
It also approved for an amendment to the Punjab Civil Services (general and common condition of services) Rules 1994 to provide minimum educational and other qualifications to its employees for getting elevated to the posts of senior assistant and senior scale stenographer, respectively, through direct and promotion quota.
Women in night shift
The cabinet approved allowing women to work in the night shift, giving its nod to amend the Punjab Shops and Commercial Establishments Act 1958. The decision was subject to certain conditions to ensure their safety, the spokesman added