PUNJAB CABINET OKAYS ORDINANCE TO AMEND STATE GST ACT IN LINE WITH CENTRAL GST CHANGES OF 2019

Chandigarh, December 2: The Punjab Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Act, 2017 is all set to be suitably amended, in line with the Central GST Act, to further promote ease of business in the state.

The State Cabinet, at its meeting chaired by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, on Monday approved the Punjab Goods and Services Tax Ordinance, 2019, to make amendments in accordance with those made to the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017, of which it was a replica, vide Finance (No.2) Bill, 2019.

Disclosing this, an official spokesperson, however, made it clear that the wording of Section 39, 44, 52, 53-A and 101-A has to be kept different in PGST Act, 2017, from the relevant sections of CGST Act, 2017. Further, amendment in Section 168 which has been made in CGST Act, 2017 is not required to be made in State Goods and Services Tax (SGST) Act, 2017.

It may be recalled that the GST Council, in its 35th meeting held on June, 21, 2019, had recommended various amendments in the provisions of Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017. The same were incorporated in the Finance (No. 2) Bill, 2019, and received the Presidential Assent on August 1, 2019. Similar amendments need to be carried out in the Punjab Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017, in order to safeguard the interests of taxpayers and promote hassle-free business.

The Ordinance approved today by the state cabinet provides for an alternative composition scheme for supplier of services or mixed suppliers (not eligible for the earlier composition scheme), having an annual turnover in preceding financial year upto Rs. 50 lakhs.

It further provides for higher threshold exemption limit from Rs. 25 lakhs, to such amount not exceeding Rs. 40 lakhs, in case of a supplier who is engaged exclusively in the supply of goods.

It also provides for furnishing of annual returns and for quarterly payment of tax by taxpayer who opts for composition levy, as well as mandatory Aadhaar submission or authentication for persons who intend to take or have taken registration.

The amendment will also empower the PGST Commissioner to extend the due date for furnishing Annual return and reconciliation statement. It will give taxpayers the facility to transfer an amount from one head to another in the electronic cash ledger, among other benefits.

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CAPT AMARINDER GOVT ACCEPTS EMPLOYEES’ DEMAND FOR INCREASE IN STATE SHARE IN NEW PENSION SCHEME W.E.F APRIL 1, 2019

·ALSO APPROVES BENEFITS OF DEATH-CUM-RETIREMENT GRATUITY TO ALL EMPLOYEES RECRUITEDSINCE JAN 2004

Chandigarh, December 2: Accepting a major demand of various state government employee unions, the Punjab Government on Monday decided to increase its share in the New Pension Scheme, in line with the decision of the Government of India, w.e.f April 1, 2019.

The Punjab Cabinet, led by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, has decided to hike the state’s monthly matching contribution for employees under the New Pension Scheme from 10% to 14% of Basic Pay + Dearness Allowance (DA).

This is in consonance with the notification issued by the Ministry of Finance, Department of Financial Services, GoI, on January 31, 2019.

The government has also agreed to give the benefit of Death-Cum-Retirement Gratuity to all the employees of the state government recruited on or after January 1, 2004 and covered under the New Pension Scheme, said an official spokesperson after the cabinet meeting.

In another decision, the cabinet gave ex-post facto approval to the Department of Finance’s proposal to allow implementation of the benefit of ex-gratia to the dependents of employees recruited on or after January 1, 2004, who die in harness, on the lines of benefits extended under the old pension scheme.

The total number of the state government employees is 3,53,074, of whom 1,52,646 are covered under the New Pension Scheme (NPS). The annual expenditure on account of contribution by the state @ 10% of basic pay+DA for the employees covered under NPS during the financial year 2018-19 was Rs.585 crore and during the Financial Year 2019-20 is expected to be Rs.645 crore.

Since the Punjab government has largely adopted the guidelines of Government of India as far as the NPS is concerned, the monthly matching contribution of state government to 14% of basic pay+DA for its employees covered under NPS will be enhanced w.e.f April 1, 2019. The annual financial implication of enhancement in the matching contribution will be Rs.258 crore over and above the earlier contribution of Rs.645 crore.

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· Cent Percent institutional deliveries targeted under Tandrust Punjab Mission-Pannu

· Ten districts found lagging in institutional deliveries

· Ferozepur registers 4.7% home deliveries, followed by Fazilka with 4.1%

Chandigarh, December 2:“Institutional deliveries under the care and supervision of trained health care providers promote the mother and child health and reduce the risk of neonatal and maternal mortality”, so cent percent institutional deliveries are targeted under Tandrust Punjab Mission said Mission Director, Mr. Kahan Singh Pannu.

He informed that institutional deliveries in the state of Punjab have improved considerably with a record 98.28% during current financial and added that up to the month of October 2019, nearly 3496 births out of total 207848 child births, took place in homes in Punjab which constitute to be 1.7% of the total deliveries.

Pannu said that this percentage is much better to 2.6 % home deliveries in the corresponding period last year. But, we aim to improve it further and concerted efforts would be made under Tandrust Punjab Mission to ensure the same.

Mission Director informed that the data reveals that the highest number of home deliveries to the extent of 4.7% have been reported from Ferozepur, followed by Fazilka having 4.1%, Ludhiana and Bathinda with 3.3% each, TarnTaran 3.2%, Fatehgarh Sahib 2.8 % , S.A.S. Nagar 2.7%, Faridkot 2.5%, Moga 1.6% and Amritsar 1.5%.

Expecting every district to ensure hundred percent institutional deliveries in the State, the Deputy Commissioners of the ten districts lagging in institutional deliveries have been explicitly directed to hold meetings with concerned Civil Surgeons, District Family Welfare Officers, ANMs/GNMs, Senior Medical Officers and other stakeholders like Anganvadi workers/ helpers and Asha workers to focus on pockets lacking in awareness on the issue and ensure that their district achieves hundred percent child births in health institutions, he informed.