The Meghalaya cabinet on Monday approved an amendment that provides exemptions to those who earn less than Rs 1.8 lakh annually from paying employment tax but made registration of those employed or earning through trade or other professions mandatory.
The amendment to Meghalaya Professions, Trades, Callings and Employment Tax Act said that anyone with an income of less than Rs 1.8 lakh will not have to pay the tax, and 12 gross income slabs are now reduced to only four, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma said.
Earlier, only individuals with income less than Rs 50,000 annually were exempted from paying the tax, he said.
"The amendment of the Meghalaya Professions, Trades, Callings & Employment Tax Act will make registration of those who are employed or earning through trade and other professions mandatory. For scheduled areas, it will be done by the district councils and for non-scheduled areas, it will be done by the tax department,” Sangma said after the cabinet meeting.
Following the decision those whose income fall in the Rs, 1.8 lakh to Rs 3 lakh range annually will have to pay Rs 500, between Rs 3 lakh to Rs 5 lakh slab will be Rs 1000, Rs 5 lakh to Rs 7.5 lakh will pay Rs 1500 and those above Rs 7.5 lakh will have to pay Rs 2500, Conrad said.
The amendment also decriminalized non-payment of taxes which previously would lead to imprisonment of up to three years, he said.
"The cabinet has decided to do away with the provision of imprisonment by adding a penalty of four times the amount due. Apart from it an interest of 12 percent per annum will have to be given by those who pay late,” the chief minister said.
The cabinet has also approved grant enhancement of up to Rs 9,000 for ad-hoc school teachers in Meghalaya. This will cost the state exchequer at least Rs 100 crore annually, Conrad said.