Free Press Journal

State to seek inclusion of Halbas, Lingayats in Third Schedule


Mumbai: The Maharashtra government plans to recommend to the Centre, the inclusion of castes like Halba, Lingayat and Dhangar in the Third Schedule of the Constitution of India, official sources said here today.

The issue was raised during today’s cabinet meeting chaired by Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and a proposal about the recommendation to be made would be tabled before the cabinet soon, the state government sources said.

The decision comes in wake of the long pending demand of communities like Dhangar to be included in the third schedule of the Constitution of India, to avail reservation benefits.

Scheduled castes are incorporated in the First Schedule of the Constitution of India, while scheduled tribes are included in its Second Schedule.

At the cabinet meeting, various ministers also lamented the delay in taking a decision regarding the Local Body Tax (LBT), the sources said.

Most of the ministers including Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar agreed that the issue is being politicised.

State government sources said that there are different views ranging from abolishing LBT to allowing municipal corporations to decide whether to continue with octroi or LBT.

“The Chief Minister is also of the opinion that the decision to chose between the two tax systems should be left to the civic body,” the sources said.

The government is likely to announce that LBT should be collected by the Sales Tax Department to minimise irritants in the process of collection, while the Mumbai Corporation of Greater Mumbai has already declared that it wants octroi to stay.