Will VAT whip finally stop sales?
Ranchi, Oct. 1: Kerosene supplied through public distribution system (PDS) in the state is set to cost less, while one would have to pay substantially more for tobacco products. The cabinet today decided that value added tax on kerosene through PDS will be brought down from the existing 5 per cent to 2 per cent while VAT on tobacco products will go up from 14 per cent to 20 per cent.
In the recent past, the state government has been under constant pressure from different quarters to reduce VAT on diesel and grant more subsidies on LPG refills. But, it has only agreed to give some relief on kerosene.
The cabinet recently banned manufacture, distribution and storage of tobacco products, including gutkha. But, traders easily managed to work out viable alternatives to smoothly carry out their business. Now tobacco free mouth-fresheners and zarda are openly being sold in separate sachets, for consumers to mix on their own. Hence, to what extent the latest increase in price of tobacco products will help discourage consumption of gutkha and such other tobacco products remains to be seen.
The cabinet also agreed to release Rs 91.58 crore for the electrification of 453 such villages that were earlier abandoned by RITES. The electrification work in these villages will now be done by JSEB. These villages could not be electrified under Rajeev Gandhi Gramin Vidyutikaran Yojana either.
To pave way for smooth conduct of urban civic body elections, the cabinet approved the new rules and regulations ó Jharkhand Nagarpalika Chunav Niymavali - 2012.
The cabinet said Ramgarh and Khunti districts would have provident fund cells and posts of district provident fund officers were sanctioned for these districts.
To set up e-courts, four posts of officials were approved. Annual expenses to the tune of Rs 12.53 lakh will be incurred on it. Cabinet coor dination departmentís principal secretary N.N. Pandey maintained that Jharkhand High Courtís e-court project was being given top priority by the Union law ministry and the apex court. The idea was to promote application of informat ion technology in the judiciary.
Considering the increase in number of judges in Jharkhand High Court in the recent past, the cabinet also sanctioned 72 non-gazetted posts. Jharkhand High Court once had only six judges against the sanctioned strength of 20. Now it has 11.
To set up family courts in Jamtara, Koderma, Latehar and Seraikela-Kharsawan districts, 48 non-gazetted posts of officials were sanctioned. Two vacant posts of technicians in the aviation wing of the home department were abolished and a new post of technical quality manager was sanctioned. The monthly expenses on this head will be around Rs 12.53 lakh.
The retirement age of doctors posted at Employees State Insurance hospitals was raised from the existing 60 years to 65 years. The retirement age of doctors posted in different government hospitals and medical colleges too is 65 years.
The regulations and service conditions for the appointment of a full time director (finance and statistics) too was approved by the cabinet.