The state government said that the legislation providing for payment of income tax of chief ministers and ministers from the state exchequer would be repealed. 

The UP Ministers (Salaries, Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1981, enacted nearly four decades ago during Congress regime headed by Vishwanath Pratap Singh, provides for the payment of income tax  of chief minister and the council of ministers from the treasury.

Cabinet minister and government spokesman Sidharth Nath Singh said on Friday that the law was four-decade-old and repealing it was under consideration of the state government.

In the current financial year, income tax bill of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his ministers was around Rs 86 lakh, which was footed by the state treasury. 

Not only this, the tax burden of 19 former chief ministers of Uttar Pradesh and nearly 1,000 ministers has been borne by the treasury for the last 40 years. This has been allowed under the Act of 1981, which deems ministers to be “poor” who cannot pay income tax from their “meagre earnings”.

As per Section 3, sub-sections 1 and 2 of UP Ministers (Salaries, Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1981, “Every minister and minister of state shall be entitled, throughout the term of his office, to a salary of one thousand rupees per month. Every deputy minister shall be entitled, throughout the term of his office, to a salary of six hundred and fifty rupees per month.”

Sub-section 3 of the section says, “The salary referred to in sub-sections (1) and (2) shall be exclusive of tax payable in respect of such salary (including perquisites) under any law relating to income tax for the time being in force, and such tax shall be borne by the state government.”

In 2016, the Akhilesh Yadav government had approved amendments to the Act and proposed a three-fold increase in basic salaries of all Cabinet and junior ministers. Chief Minister and Cabinet ministers draw a basic salary of Rs 40,000 per month, a Rs 28,000 per month increase over the earlier sum of Rs 12,000 per month. 

Overall, the amendment allowed the chief minister to take home a salary of Rs. 1.4 lakh per month. 

Junior ministers, on the other hand, became entitled to get basic salaries of Rs 35,000 per month, up from a monthly salary of Rs 10,000. 

A report published by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) after formation of the Bharatiya Janata Party government in UP in 2017, stated that of the 44 ministers, 35 were crorepatis. This number accounts for 80 per cent of ministers. 

The report also stated that the average asset owned by a minister was Rs 5.34 crore, with the lowest being Rs 38 lakh, approximately.

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