Taxation laws (Second Amendment) bill: Opposition outraged as bill cleared without debate

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the tax, surcharge, penalty and interest on the deposit would go to welfare schemes for the poor.

Written by Liz Mathew | New Delhi | Published:November 30, 2016 2:25 am
Taxation laws, Taxation laws bill, congress, taxation bill cleared, arun jaitley, income tax, government, demonetisation, illegal exchange, black money, demonetised currency, indian express news, india news, demonetisation debate Finance Minister Arun Jaitley says legislation will help root out black money. With cabinet colleague Piyush Goyal. Source: Renuka Puri

Amid protests from the Opposition which accused the government of “bulldozing” Parliamentary democracy, Lok Sabha passed a bill that seeks to tax black money deposited in banks post-demonetisation by voice voice Tuesday, without debate. The Opposition questioned how the government introduced Taxation Laws (2nd Amendment) Bill 2016 without giving members time to move amendments.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the tax, surcharge, penalty and interest on the deposit would go to welfare schemes for the poor. “It will give a means to the Government of India to run schemes like Garib Kalyan Kosh…” he said.

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Jaitley said the bill, moved Monday, was brought after it came to the government’s notice that some people were trying to illegally exchange the demonetised Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 currency notes. Under the new legislation, anyone caught with unaccounted money after the last date for declaration will be liable to pay a tax of 60 per cent and an additional surcharge of 25 per cent of the tax – or 15 per cent of the unaccounted money — which will add up to 75 per cent.

“The PM made a huge announcement on November 8 of fighting the menace of black money and corruption in the country. When Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the demonetisation move, the intention was clearly to wipe out black money. The BJP government has always taken measures to curb the circulation of black money,” Jaitley said amid protests — by Congress, Left and Trinamool MPs in the well, by AIADMK and NCP MPs in front of their respective seats.

“This is an attempt to get the (black) money into the mainstream.. and to provide for the welfare of the poor,” Jaitley said.

After an abrupt adjournment at 2:05pm, the House met at 2:30 pm and Opposition MPs objected to the consideration of the bill saying it cannot be discussed before the debate on demonetisation as the measure was a follow-up of the currency withdrawal move. Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge and the TMC’s Sudip Bandyopadhyay suggested that an adjournment motion on demonetisation – which has been rejected by the Speaker — and this bill be discussed together as the issues were similar.

The BJD’s Bhartruhari Mehtab said a debate on demonetisation was also necessary along with a debate on the bill as it had serious repercussions on the Income Tax laws. He said both the government and the Opposition should find a way to do so.

Saugata Roy of the Trinamool Congrdss alleged that Jaitley has introduced the Bill “stealthily” amid the din in the House Monday and the Opposition did not get a chance to oppose its introduction as per rules.

In between the protests, Jaitley pointed out that some remarks by the Opposition MPs had “cast aspersions” on the Speaker. He was seen alerting Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, who rose and said the Opposition had not bothered when the bill had been introduced Monday.

The RSP’s N K Premachandran said amendments to a money bill need the President’s approval but the bill was tabled only Monday afternoon as a supplementary agenda. The MPs had no time to furnish the formalities and move amendments, he said.

Speaker Sumitra Mahajan ruled out all objections saying the bill is of urgent public importance and must be passed immediately. Though she wanted a debate, she said, “it is impossible” because of the behaviour of Opposition members. She disallowed amendments moved by Opposition members as they required approval of the President, which could not be obtained.

Government sources said the passage of the bill would give impetus to its campaign against black money because it will “not just bring back black money into the system but also be politically an advantage to the party.”

The government is optmistic that the passage of the bill in the din would be seen as a sign of its commitment and would force the Opposition to debate the issue in Lok Sabha in the coming days.

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  1. I
    indian
    Nov 30, 2016 at 12:51 am
    What is the opposition's proposal? Let those with black money go scot-free?
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    1. H
      Hitesh Waghela
      Dec 1, 2016 at 11:10 am
      correct
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      1. A
        Amresh
        Nov 30, 2016 at 9:40 am
        Rich people are scared now a days, ha ha ha...lt;br/gt;Fortunately, I am not rich.
        Reply
        1. A
          Achoot
          Nov 30, 2016 at 6:10 pm
          That's what you Aam admi thinks hahaha...
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            ashok s
            Nov 30, 2016 at 3:19 am
            Govt if wise should serve notices to all those who have deposited over 2.5 lakhs cash or other instruments throughout the fiscal year and not just to those who have recently deposited cash over 2.5 lacs . a person stands taxable if he has more credits over threshold limits.
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              ashok s
              Nov 30, 2016 at 12:31 am
              The bill was necessary for govt to complete its task undertaken to clean India , however I disagree tax rates which is 50:50 , next the bill should have brought after debate on demonetization
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                ashok s
                Nov 30, 2016 at 3:37 am
                Though I am not favour of parallel economy , but still its exist and has mushroomed since inception of our country . now to track black money holders ,in process this parallel economy will slow down . but but what will effect ,big giant's of such economy will survive but lower cadre will be killed . poor labourers, etc will loose their bread . was it a wise step ?
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                1. T
                  T DUTTA
                  Nov 30, 2016 at 5:07 am
                  ADULT FRANCHISE MEANS ADULT FRANCHISE OF LAW ABIDING CITIZENS-------WHY BLACK MONEY HOLDERS SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO VOTE?--sorry, aap ka naam voter list me majoot nahi hai
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                    T DUTTA
                    Nov 30, 2016 at 4:36 am
                    PREPONING OF PARLIAMENT AND EMBLY ELECTIONS MUST BE PROHIBITED
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                    1. T
                      T DUTTA
                      Nov 30, 2016 at 4:33 am
                      REQUIRED -------SURGICAL STRIKES ON ALL VOTE BANKS
                      Reply
                      1. T
                        T DUTTA
                        Nov 30, 2016 at 4:35 am
                        SOME OPPOSITION POLITICIANS MAY BE UMING THAT PARLIAMENT ELECTIONS MAY BE PREPONED IN ORDER TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF DEMONETISATION------accordingly they might have started the REHERSAL
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                          T DUTTA
                          Nov 30, 2016 at 4:32 am
                          [1] SHOULD BLACK MONEY HOLDERS ALLOWED TO VOTE IN PARLIAMENT AND EMBLY ELECTIONS?---why not delete their names from voter list, may be for 5 or 10 years---OTHERWISE SOME POLITICAL PARTIES MAY TARGET THE HUGE VOTE BANK OF DISHONEST AND FRAUDULENT INDIAN CITIZENS[not necessarily residents] [2] SHOULD NON RESIDENTS BE ALLOWED TO VOTE?---some poeple may be staying outside most of the time but VOTING IN ELECTIONS---OBVIOUSLY THIS IS A VOTE BANK WHICH MAY BE TARGETTED BY SLY POLITICIANS
                          Reply
                          1. T
                            T DUTTA
                            Nov 30, 2016 at 4:37 am
                            of course REHERSAL IS NOT UNCONSUTIONAL OR ILLEGAL----it does not violate INDIAN PENAL CODE
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                            1. S
                              Sumit Goyal
                              Nov 30, 2016 at 2:39 am
                              Jaitley will go down as the worst finance minister ever, Sumitra Mahajan the worst Speaker and Modi the worst prime minister. If they live long enough, all three of them will go to jail for.......CORRUPTION and BLACK MONEY. Enjoy your last six months. The end is near.
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                                OmKar
                                Nov 30, 2016 at 2:50 am
                                It hurts as your all black money will be 85% toilet papers. You tax cheater, khujali brother.
                                Reply
                                1. V
                                  Vihari Naidu
                                  Nov 30, 2016 at 5:37 am
                                  When you have a Prime Minister who runs away from Parliament, the temple of democracy, you should expect bills to be ped undermining Rajya Sabha without bipartisan support.
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                                    Anand Ch
                                    Nov 30, 2016 at 6:36 am
                                    It is unfortunate that several measures concerning the common man and security of country are going with out proper discussion. Parties are more enthusiastic to make political mileage than contribute. It is scaring.
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                                      Pranav Kanabar
                                      Nov 30, 2016 at 2:59 pm
                                      This is literaly ridiculous. I was watching the debate. Opposition was simply making noise on purpose despite the house waiting for patience for an entire day. When Jaitley was speaking congressmen were literaly shouting 'eeeeeeeeeee' not even slogans. They just wanted to disrupt it for no reasons. These media houses don't portray the real picture ever. So much sensationalism.
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                                      1. S
                                        sailor
                                        Nov 30, 2016 at 6:58 am
                                        Reckless opposition, neglected its duty as opposition. They should have been on the alert and such important bills need thorough debate.
                                        Reply
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                                          satyam basnett
                                          Dec 1, 2016 at 5:39 am
                                          Amid din and chaos the TAXATION LAWS 2ND AMENDMENT 2016 would provide last chance to those people with unaccounted money .....its a welcome move by the government and would certainly channel the black money as white money into the mainstream .
                                          Reply
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                                            Sumit Goyal
                                            Dec 1, 2016 at 11:08 am
                                            @Sumit Goyal is filthy POKI in hindu name disguise.
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