JAC Sikkim Delegation Meets with Finance Ministry Officials
Gangtok: A senior delegation from the Joint Action Council (JAC) met with officials from the Finance Ministry in New Delhi on Wednesday to discuss concerns over the expansion of the Sikkimese definition in the amended Income Tax Act 1961.
The JAC executives in the delegation included Senior Vice President Duk Nath Nepal, Vice President Pempo Dorjee Lepcha, Vice President Passang Gyali Sherpa, and spokesperson Sonam Gyatso Sherpa.
Press Release | JAC Sikkim | 03/05/23
A high level delegation of JAC (Joint Action Council) led by senior Vice President Duknath Nepal, VP Pempo Dorjee Lepcha, VP Passang Gyali Sherpa and Spokesperson Sonam Gyatso Sherpa visited the Ministry of Finance, Government of India and held a meeting with the Joint Secretary and the Director (TPL-l), Department of Revenue, CBDT.
The delegation apprised the officials about the discontentment and apprehensions arising in Sikkim after the passing of Finance Act 2023, mainly the expansion and distortion of term “Sikkimese”.
It is held that the insufficient and incorrect representation by the State Government of Sikkim in the Supreme Court is the root cause of distortion of “Sikkimese” defination vis a vis dilution of Article 371F.
The delegation further learnt that the errors arising out of Finance Act 2023 can be corrected by adopting political and judicial approach.
The Ministry of Finance assured the delegation that the matter raised by JAC will be taken up by the Finance Ministry and seek views from concerned ministries and legal luminaries and provide justice to the people of Sikkim.
JAC (Joint Action Council) is happy to share with our fellow Sikkimese brothers and sisters that a path of negotiation has finally started with the Government of India and we are optimistic in correcting the distorted “Sikkimese” defination as guaranteed under Article 371F of the Constitution of India.
Joint Action Council
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Concerns over Sikkimese definition distortion
In the press release, the JAC Sikkim stated that they apprised the officials about the discontentment and apprehensions arising in Sikkim after the passing of the Finance Act 2023, particularly regarding the expansion and distortion of the term “Sikkimese.”
The JAC believes that the insufficient and incorrect representation by the Sikkim government in the Supreme Court is the root cause of the distortion of the “Sikkimese” definition, which dilutes Article 371F.
Political and Judicial Approach Suggested
The delegation learned that the errors arising from the Finance Act 2023 can be corrected by adopting a political and judicial approach.
The Finance Ministry officials assured the delegation that the matter raised by JAC Sikkim would be taken up by the Finance Ministry and views would be sought from concerned ministries and legal luminaries to provide justice to the people of Sikkim.
JAC Sikkim hopeful about the resolution of the issue
“The Joint Action Council is happy to share with our fellow Sikkimese brothers and sisters that a path of negotiation has finally started with the Government of India, and we are optimistic about correcting the distorted ‘Sikkimese’ definition as guaranteed under Article 371F of the Constitution of India,” said the JAC.
The issue has raised concerns among the people of Sikkim, who fear that the distortion of the definition could lead to dilution of Article 371F, which provides special provisions to protect the rights and interests of the state and its people.
Reaction of Sikkim locals to the JAC’s move
“We are hopeful that the government will take the necessary steps to address the concerns raised by the JAC and ensure that the Sikkimese definition is not distorted, and the special provisions provided under Article 371F are protected,” said a local resident.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is JAC in Sikkim?
JAC (Joint Action Council) is a civil organization in Sikkim. It has been leading protests against the Supreme Court’s reference to the Sikkimese Nepali community as ‘foreigners’ and the dilution of the ‘Sikkimese’ definition.
Who is Keshav Sapkota?
Keshav Sapkota is the General Secretary of JAC in Sikkim. He was attacked by unidentified miscreants during a rally organized by JAC in Singtam district on April 8, 2023. The rally was conducted over concerns on the expansion of the definition of the term ‘Sikkimese’ in the Finance Act, 2023.
Gangtokian Web Team, 04/05/23