As part of an austerity measure Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Rajiv Kumar and Election Commissioner Anup Chandra Pandey agreed to forego benefits and privileges on Friday.
According to an Election Commission statement, the two have decided not to claim income tax exemption on sumptuary allowances and have also agreed to forego two of the three Leave Travel Concessions (LTC) given each year.
After taking over as Chief Election Commissioner last week, Kumar convened the inaugural meeting of the Election Commission on Friday, with fellow Election Commissioner Pandey.
The poll panel, which has been a three-member committee since October 1993, currently has one vacancy.
According to the statement, the commission reviewed the advantages and privileges granted to the CEC and Election Commissioners (ECs), including income tax exemptions on sumptuary allowance.
Section 3 of the Election Commission (Conditions of Service of Election Commissioners and Transaction of Business) Act of 1991 provides for salary perks and perquisites for CECs and ECs. They are entitled to a sumptuary allowance of Rs 34,000 a month.
This allowance is exempt from income tax for CECs and ECs. They are also eligible to three LTCs per year for themselves, their spouses, and dependent family members.
Personal entitlements were deemed to require austerity by the Commission. The Commission unanimously determined that CECs and ECs will not take advantage of any income tax benefits that are now available to them.
“It was resolved to forward the idea to the Central Government for action. Furthermore, instead of the three LTCs that are currently available to CECs and ECs, they will only be able to use one LTC per year “According to the statement.