In a major Diwali gift to traders of the state, the Punjab cabinet led by Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann today approved the Punjab one-time settlement (OTS) scheme for pre-GST arrears, which will benefit over 60,000 traders.
A spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s Office said the scheme has been launched for recovery of outstanding dues for settlement of pre-GST arrears to enable reduction of compliance burden of legacy cases.
The OTS will be applicable from November 15 and will be valid till March 15, 2024 and taxpayers whose assessments have been framed till March 31, 2023 with amount of total demand (tax, penalty and interest up to March 31, 2023) up to Rs 1 crore, will be eligible to apply for settlement under this scheme.
The OTS will provide complete waiver in case of arrears up to Rs 1 lakh as on March 31, 2023 which would cover nearly 39,787 cases and a further, waiver of 100 per cent interest, 100 per cent penalty and 50 per cent of the tax amount is being given in nearly 19,361 cases.
Mukh Mantri Tirath Yatra Scheme
The cabinet also approved the ‘Mukh Mantri’ Tirath Yatra scheme for enabling the people of the state to visit pilgrimage sites across the country for free from the upcoming Parkash Purab of Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji on November 27.
Double Ex-Gratia For Soldiers With Disabilities
The cabinet approved to double ex-gratia grant of disabled soldiers, both from the military and the paramilitary with disability from 76 per cent to 100 per cent to Rs 40 lakh; disabled soldiers with 51 per cent to 75per cent disability to Rs 20 lakh, and disabled soldiers with 25 per cent to 50 per cent disability to Rs 10 lakh.
The East Punjab Awards Act, 1948, To Be Amended
The cabinet also gave green signal to amend ‘The East Punjab War Awards Act, 1948’ for enhancing the financial assistance of 83 beneficiaries from Rs 10,000 per annum to Rs 20,000 per annum.
The government of Punjab provides War Jagir as financial assistance to those parents whose only child or two to three children had served in the Indian Army during the Second World War, National Emergency 1962 and 1971 under The East Punjab War Awards Act 1948.
Presently, 83 beneficiaries are taking benefits under this policy. Accordingly, Punjab has announced that financial assistance to those parents whose only child or two to three children had served in the Indian Army during the Second World War, National Emergency 1962 and 1971 under The East Punjab War Awards Act 1948 will be increased from Rs 10,000 per annum to Rs 20,000 per annum.
State Cadre Of Patwaris And Kanungos
The cabinet approved a plan to create a state cadre of Patwaris and Kanungos to streamline the functioning of the revenue department.
Subcommittee For Theka Employees Sangarsh Committee
The cabinet gave ex-post facto approval to form a subcommittee and thereafter amendments regarding Theka Employees Sanghrash Morcha Punjab, Land Acquisition Sangharsh Committee and others.
Annual Administrative Reports
The cabinet approved the annual administrative reports of the police department and the vigilance bureau for 2020 and 2022, respectively. The reports of the Social Security and Women and Child Development and Labour Department for the year 2022-23 and 2019-20, respectively, were also cleared by the cabinet.