By Our Staff Reporter
Dehradun, 24 Aug: Once again, all the starred questions were answered within the stipulated time during the Question Hour in the House under the chairmanship of Speaker Premchand Aggarwal. It was for the 25th time that all the starred questions were responded to personally by the respective ministers within the stipulated Question Hour during current Speaker Aggarwal’s term.
Among the major questions asked and responded to by the government were mainly those related to the departments under the charge of Tourism, Religious Affairs and PWD Minister Satpal Maharaj and Transport and Excise Minister Yashpal Arya.
In response to a short notice question by Congress member Qazi Nizamuddin, Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, who also holds charge of the Finance Ministry, responded that any decision to modify or reduce the prices of LPG cylinders could only be taken in accordance with the recommendations of the GST Council, as LPG is under the GST tax regime. The state governments could not unilaterally decide on its pricing. In response to a related question, the CM made it clear that there was no possibility in Uttarakhand to reduce taxes on the sale of Petrol or Diesel in view of the financial constraints caused by Covid. He added that due to the Corona pandemic, there had been an adverse effect on the revenue collections of the government and, in view of this, there was no proposal to reduce taxes on petrol and diesel in the state.
In response to another short notice question by Congress member Manoj Rawat, Dhami informed the House that, in accordance with the provisions of the Uttar Pradesh Zamindari Abolition & Land Reforms Act 1950 as applicable in Uttarakhand, it was permitted for any individual to purchase and possess ownership of a maximum 5.0586 hectares of land.
In response to a starred question from BJP Member Khajan Das, PWD Minister Satpal Maharaj made it clear that no proposal for any road construction or road extension was pending before the government from the time of formation of Uttarakhand as a separate state. He added, in response to a supplementary question, that forest clearance to road projects was granted as per a clear procedure by the MoEF in the state and the Government of India and there was no provision to make any changes in the prevalent procedure. In response to a question by Pritam Singh Panwar, Transport Minister Yashpal Arya claimed that the government had not received any complaint in respect of bus/taxi operators charging double the fare during the Covid pandemic from the people, except for the period when such permission had been granted in view of a strict Covid SOP.