BJP legislator Rao Rajendra Singh on Wednesday questioned Rajasthan energy minister Pushpendra Singh in the assembly over the collection of urban and water conservation taxes by the state electricity department.
Raising the issue during the question hour, Singh questioned the minister on what basis such levies had being collected from the consumers between September 2012 and March 2013.
He said this was done even after an amendment in the Electricity Act 2003 that saw a gadget notification being passed by the state urban development and housing department.
Singh said the tax collection was arbitrary as the notification was yet to come into effect.
Singh said that power discoms were governed by a company law and has its own constitution.
Till the time an amendment is part of the act, on what basis such charges can be collected? Singh questioned the minister.
He said if such taxes were collected, was it not an ‘unconstitutional’ act? And who was responsible for it?
He said such collection of taxes was in violation of the provision of Centre’s Finance Act 1994. How a company governed under a company law, can act as agent of municipal corporations to collect the user charges.
“The collection work is not of discoms. Is the Jaipur Vidyut Vitran Nigam Ltd acting as an agent of the Nagar Nigam? How a company governed under the Electricity Act 2003, carry out other business, which has no relation with power?” he said.
In his reply, energy minister Pushpendra Singh informed the House that the taxes were only collected in Jaipur and Jodhpur districts, which amounted to a total of Rs. 19 crore.
He said under the Rajasthan Municipal Corporation Act, 2009, the government had, through a cabinet decision, authorised the discoms to collect taxes. “We had collected the cess under the Electricity Duty Act 1962, and had brought amendments in 2003 for the same...”
VACANCIES IN SCHOOLS TO BE FILLED BY JUNE 2016
Education minister Vasudev Devnani informed the House that all vacant posts in schools would be filled before June next year following the process of rationalisation.
Replying to a question by BJP MLA Shimla Bawari, Devnani said there would be one school in each gram panchayat from Class 1 to Class 12 with the required teaching faculty.
Devnani further said that 21,900 school teachers have been recruited across the state till date and the remaining 12% of vacant posts will be filled up before the next session.