Opposition terms tax measure passage as ‘black day’ in Lok Sabha, Govt says bill can’t wait

The government blamed the opposition for not participating in the debate and said it was "tragic" that the Bill had to be passed in the din.

By: PTI | New Delhi | Published:November 29, 2016 9:35 pm
Income Tax Amendment Bill, income tax, income tax bill, income tax amendment, lok sabha,parliament, Amid din, a bill which seeks to tax money deposited in banks post demonetization was passed in the Lok Sabha today within minutes without any debate.

Terming as “black day” in Lok Sabha the passage of taxation bill amidst din without debate, opposition parties today accused the government of being “undemocratic and dictatorial” and hinted at approaching the President on the issue. The government, however, blamed the opposition for not participating in the debate and said it was “tragic” that the Bill had to be passed in the din. It asserted that the measure had to be passed for the “welfare of the poor and country” and cannot wait for those who are unable to “digest” the action against black money and corruption.

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Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said, “We want that Income Tax Amendment Act should come through the rules. The amendments proposed by the Opposition MPs and leaders should also be kept in mind before taking the assent from the President.”

Revolutionary Socialist Party said that it is contemplating to take up the issue with President Pranab Mukherjee.

“The government has been totally undemocratic, dictatorial, authoritarian in passing such an important bill without discussion amidst din. It has taken advantage of the superior numbers to avoid discussion. It is unfortunate that we did not get any relief from the Chair.

“I had written to the Speaker (Lok Sabha) in the morning that this bill should not be allowed to be passed in the din. But what we apprehended happened. Inspite of all of our protest, this bill was passed. The very purpose of the bill was sort of defeated,” said Saugata Roy TMC MP.

Amid din, a bill which seeks to tax money deposited in banks post demonetization was passed in the Lok Sabha today within minutes without any debate.

Amid fierce slogan shouting by the opposition, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the Taxation Laws (2nd Amendment) Bill, 2016 was brought after it came to the government’s notice that some people were trying to illegally exchange the demonetised Rs 1000 and Rs 500 currency note.

Roy said that the government is “stubbornly” sticking to its stand that there will be no discussion but “we (opposition) are all together and we will continue to press for discussion” under a rule which entails voting.

CPI(M) leader Mohammad Salim said that it is a “black day” in the history of Lok Sabha and an “undeclared emergency”.

It is not a fight against blackmoney but “rewarding” black money hoarders”, he alleged.

The Revolutionary Socialist Party said that it is contemplating to take up the issue with President Pranab Mukherjee.

“The government has been totally undemocratic, dictatorial, authoritarian in passing such an important bill without discussion amidst din. It has taken advantage of the superior numbers to avoid discussion. It is unfortunate that we did not get any relief from the Chair.

“I had written to the Speaker (Lok Sabha) in the morning that this bill should not be allowed to be passed in the din. But what we apprehended happened. In spite of all of our protest, this bill was passed. The very purpose of the bill was sort of defeated,” said Saugata Roy TMC MP.

Roy said that the government is “stubbornly” sticking to its stand that there will be no discussion but “we (opposition) are all together and we will continue to press for discussion” under a rule which entails voting.

CPI(M) leader Mohammad Salim said that it is a “black day” in the history of Lok Sabha and an “undeclared emergency”.

It is not a fight against blackmoney but “rewarding” black money hoarders”, he alleged. (MORE) PTI TDS MP VSC Black day’ in LS: Opp; Govt says tax measure can’t wait

The bill proposes to levy a total tax, penalty and surcharge of 50 per cent on the amount deposited post demonetisation while higher taxes and stiffer penalty of up to 85 per cent await those who don’t disclose but are caught.

The proposed law also provides for black money declarants to mandatorily deposit 25 per cent of the disclosed amount in anti-poverty scheme without interest and a four-year lock-in period.

Those who choose to declare their ill-gotten wealth stashed till now in banned Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes under the Pradhan Mantri Grabi Kalyan Yojana 2016, will have to pay a tax at the rate of 30 per cent of the undisclosed income, the new bill proposes.

Additionally, a 10 per cent penalty will be levied on the undisclosed income and surcharge called PMGK Cess at the rate of 33 per cent of tax (33 per cent of 30 per cent).

Further, the declarants have to deposit 25 per cent of the undisclosed income in a scheme to be notified by the government in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

The money from the scheme would be used for projects in irrigation, housing, toilets, infrastructure, primary education, primary health and livelihood so that there is justice and equality, said the Statement of Objects and Reasons of the Bill.

For those who continue to hold onto undisclosed cash and are caught, existing provisions of the Income Tax law will be amended to provide for a flat 60 per cent tax plus a surcharge of 25 per cent of tax (15 per cent), which will amount a levy of 75 per cent.

Besides, if the assessing officer decides he can charge a 10 per cent penalty in addition to the 75 per cent tax.