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After petrol, VAT on diesel hiked; finance commission set up in HP
October, 31st 2014

Ten days after raising value added tax on petrol, the Himachal Pradesh cabinet, which met here Tuesday under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, approved a proposal to hike VAT on diesel from the existing 9.6 per cent to 10.6 per cent.

“The cabinet arrived at a consensus on increasing VAT on diesel by 1 per cent to 10.6 per cent, which is lower by 0.12% as compared to VAT applicable in Punjab. This will result in additional revenue earnings of about ` 26 crore a year,” said a government spokesperson after the meeting. Earlier, the government had raised VAT on petrol from 25% to 27% on October 17.

The cabinet also gave its nod to set up the fifth state commission for a term of one and a half years and the terms of reference will be the same as those for the fourth finance commission. The panel, which will consist of a chairman and two other members, will submit its report, which will be effective from April 1, 2017, by April 30, 2016.

In other decisions taken at today’s meeting, the cabinet amended the House Allotment Rules, 1994 for government accommodation under the general pool under which accommodation allotted to employees can be retained for bona fide use on payment of the normal license fees in case the employee is transferred to tribal areas of the state.

The cabinet also agreed upon a proposal to attach eight temples under the Manimahesh Trust in the Bharmour area. It cleared a move to set up a ‘kendriya vidyalaya’ (government school) in Saloh in Una district. It was also was decided to create six positions of deputy inspector general of police and superintendent of police. Also, a proposal to increase the strength of the Himachal IPS cadre to 100 from the existing 89 may be sent to the ministry of home affairs.

The cabinet also decided to restore the two tier pay structure for architects employed by the public works department with prospective effect on the lines of that for executive engineers in the PWD and irrigation & public health department.

The cabinet also approved a move to amend the existing schedule of input tax restricted goods appended to the Himachal Pradesh Value Added Tax Rules, 2005 by inserting a new clause to prevent loss of VAT due to huge difference in the rate of tax levied on commodities by other states.
The cabinet also decided to upgrade the Kupvi primary health centre in Chopal to a 30 bed community health centre. It also approved tender bid documents for 37 hydroelectric projects on build, own, operate & transfer (BOOT) basis.

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