CM Prem Singh Tamang(Golay) accompanied by the Minister Sanjit Kharel, colleague MLAs from Bharatiya Janata Party, TT Bhutia and Pintsho Namgyal Lepcha, Chief Secretary Govt. of Sikkim, V.B. Pathak, Resident Commissioner (Delhi), A.K. Chand and Secretary to the Chief Minister, S.D. Dhakal called on the Union Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman and apprised about the issue regarding the recent Finance Bill Amendment.
According to CM Golay Finance Minister after giving a patient hearing to our concerns has categorically and unambiguously stated that the finance bill amendment is only for the income tax purposes as per the Supreme Court order and in no way impinges upon the Definition of Sikkimese.
He further said that a clarification to that effect will also be issued by the ministry.
“Definition of Sikkimese as Lepcha of Sikkimese origin, Bhutia of Sikkimese origin and Nepali of Sikkimese origin will always be respected and it has neither been nor will be touched upon,” said Sikkim CM Golay.
“I express immense debt of gratitude to the Hon’ble Finance Minister Madam for the kind concerns. I would like to assure the Sikkimese people that as always, our government will leave no stone unturned to protect the rights and interest of our people,” he added further.
In a veiled response to concerns expressed by various groups and political parties of Sikkim, he said,”Government of India has always stood by the state of Sikkim and Sikkimese people in every need and necessity, howsoever big or small. The apprehension of dilution of article 371F of the constitution of India due to the Finance Bill Amendment 2023 in the income tax act of government of India, among the people of Sikkim is being spread by certain people in our state which is not right,”.
He further informed that the Union Finance Minister during her recent visit to Sikkim has clearly stated that article 371F of constitution of India is not affected in any manner by this amendment.
He also added that Supreme Court of India in its clarificatory order on 8th February, 2023 has clearly mentioned that this order was for the purpose of income tax only and article 371F was not the subject matter of the case.
“I want to reiterate that during the meeting, I apprised the Hon’ble Finance Minister that soon a resolution of the state assembly of Sikkim will be passed, requesting Ministry of Finance, Government of India for modification of the two sub-clauses of 26AAA of Income Tax Act 1961, so that this issue is settled for all times to come. I assure each and every Sikkimese that our government is at the forefront to protect the interest of the entire Sikkimese people and the state of Sikkim,” said Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang.
(CM FB Wall/Nitesh R Pradhan)
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