Ruchika M Khanna
Chandigarh, November 29
The Punjab Government will be raking in Rs 1,000 crore with the imposition of new duties on making of power of attorneys, seeking bank loans through equitable mortgages and on hypothecation of vehicles.
9.45L drug addicts registered in state
Punjab Health Minister Balbir Singh informed the House that 2,76,131 drug addicts were registered at government centres and 6,67,327 patients with private centres. There are 529 registered out-patient opioid assisted treatment (OOAT) clinics in the state
With the Punjab Vidhan Sabha today passing three important money Bills on the last day of the Winter Session today — The Registration (Punjab Amendment) Bill-2023, The Transfer of Property (Punjab Amendment) Bill-2023 and The Indian Stamp (Punjab Amendment) Bill-2023 — the cash-strapped state government hopes to better its depleting fiscal health. This is the second major initiative taken by the state’s AAP government to increase its revenue generation after it first increased the collector rates since the government came to power.
Once the three amendments are enacted, the banks in the state will be designated as sub-registrars and will collect 0.25 per cent of the loan credited as duty on behalf of the state government. For anybody going in for general power of attorney (GPA) to a person who is not a blood relation, a 2 per cent duty of the amount of the consideration or collector rate of property, whichever is higher, will have to be paid.
Other than this, anyone who takes a vehicle or other goods on hypothecation, a duty of 0.25 per cent of the value of the hypothecated vehicle/good has been imposed. Special Chief Secretary Revenue KAP Sinha told The Tribune that two of these Bills — The Transfer of Property (Punjab Amendment) Bill-2023 and The Indian Stamp (Punjab Amendment) Bill-2023 — will first have to be sent to the Union Law Ministry for approval before it is presented for a Presidential nod.
The state government hopes to increase its total stamp duty collection to Rs 4,750 crore by the end of this fiscal with these new duties falling in the state’s kitty. From April to October, the state has so far recovered Rs 2430.99 crore.
Increasing the state’s revenue resources has become imperative for Punjab, considering the state’s rising debt burden, widening fiscal and revenue deficit and political dependence on giving sops from its near-empty coffers. In the first seven months of this fiscal, the state has already borrowed Rs 20,457.93 crore from the market even as its fiscal deficit has risen to Rs 20,457.93 crore and the revenue deficit to Rs 18,394.21 crore. The state’s capital expenditure (money spent on asset creation) is just Rs 10,305.26 crore.
Finance Minister Harpal Cheema said: “The amendments in the GST Bill too will ensure that we start earning money from the online gamers as 28 per cent tax has been imposed on it.”
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