Gangtok: A new bill for providing funds towards restoration and repair of the damage caused by the September 11, 2011 devastating earthquake was introduced in the two-day session of the Sikkim Assembly on Wednesday.
Also introduced was the Sikkim Value Added Tax (Amendment) Bill. Both bills were introduced by Chief Minister Pawan Chamling who is also the Minister-in-Charge of Finance, Revenue and Expenditure Department.
The Sikkim Earthquake Rehabilitation Management Fund Bill is to provide funds for immediate relief, restoration and reconstruction.
A cess is proposed to be collected for the Sikkim Earthquake Rehabilitation and Management Fund, at such rate not exceeding two per cent, but not less then one per cent of the cost of contract work.
Similarly, the government deemed it necessary to amend the Sikkim Value Added Tax, 2005 to increase VAT on sale of tobacco and its products including cigarettes and chewing tobacco, other then beedis and raw tobacco leaves.
It introduced a new Schedule in the Sikkim Value Added Tax, Act 2005 to reduce health problems caused due to its consumption and to discourage poor, children and youth to reduce smoking and quit tobacco.
The discussion and voting on these bills will be taken up on February 28.
The chief minister presented the First Supplementary Demands for Grants for the current financial year 2012-2013l, besides the Vote on Account for the financial year 2013-2014 and the Excess Demands for Grants for the financial year 2007-2008.