Poll on mind, Cabinet set to ratify sops
The Cabinet meeting scheduled for Monday seems to have a definite agenda. With the Lok Sabha elections round the corner, the Council of Ministers is expected to announce a series of tax concessions. The Cabinet will discuss the withdrawal of one-time tax on city buses operating in Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Bathinda; withdrawal of sin tax on cigarettes and slashing VAT on iron and steel goods, scrap and finished goods. All these decisions are aimed at wooing the urban voters. The SAD-BJP Government feels that these people have weaned away from them because of imposition of property tax and advance tax. Sources said there was a proposal to waive one-time tax on buses operating in cities, amounting to Rs 500 per bus. This tax is paid to the Transport Department before the buses are commissioned. These buses have been commissioned under the Centre’s Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission and the government proposes to waive this tax so as to make travel cheaper.