Chandigarh: The Punjab cabinet is likely to decide on levying new taxes and raising retirement age on Tuesday as part of its efforts to mobilise over Rs 3,000 crore.
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Monday said the decisions will be taken jointly by cabinet ministers of SAD and BJP.
"Whatever decisions will be taken (in cabinet meeting) will be taken jointly by BJP and SAD," said Badal here on Monday when asked about raising retirement age and power subsidy issues.
Punjab cabinet is scheduled to meet on Tuesday and in this meeting, the decision may be taken with regard to imposition of fresh taxes including property tax, professional tax and raising the retirement age for government employees from 58 years to 60 years.
Though SAD-BJP led Punjab government did not levy fresh taxes in its state Budget presented in June this year, Punjab Finance Minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa had said that the funds were needed to put the state's fiscal health on track.
Following this, Punjab government officials had even prepared proposals to mobilise additional resources which included levying of property tax and professional tax.
Though both SAD and BJP are averse to burden the common man with new taxes, both parties agree that additional funds are required to bring the state out of fiscal mess, sources said.
The ally BJP had even asked the SAD to reduce the power subsidy burden which was expected to reach Rs 5,700 crore for current fiscal. A committee was also formed to look into how to ensure free power be given only to small and marginal farmers.
Punjab, which has been declared a debt-stressed state, has "deplorable" financial position as it faces massive revenue deficit of Rs 6,838 crore for 2011-12. Over 80 percent of state's revenue is expected to be "consumed" by rising committed expenditure including salary, pension and debt servicing.
As part of its austerity measures, Punjab government had already banned purchase of new vehicles, 10 percent cut on ministers and chief parliamentary secretaries allowances, cut on fuel, electricity charges and said it would bring annual savings worth Rs 250 crore to the state exchequer.


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