A day after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley proposed amendments to 40 laws incorporating them in the Finance Bill and sent it for consideration in the Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Parliament on Wednesday passed the Bill making Aadhaar mandatory for filing of Income-Tax returns. “We are moving towards a time when there will be no shadow economy but some are still seeing virtues of cash transactions,” said Jaitley in the Lok Sabha. He also said no arbitrary power will be given to the Tax Department and there are no plans to tax farmers’ income. The finance minister further said, “Tax buoyancy has improved in the last two years.”
The proposed changes were, making Aadhaar mandatory for filing of the Income-Tax returns as well as for obtaining the Permanent Account Number (PAN), allowing cheque-only contributions to electoral trusts in the session, and capping the limit for cash transactions to Rs 2 lakh from April 1 from the earlier proposed Rs 3 lakh.
Jaitley said the cap on cash transactions is being reduced to curb generation of black money and the electoral bonds introduction is for cleansing the political funding.
After the Trinamool Congress, the Biju Janata Dal and the Revolutionary Socialist Party on Tuesday alleged that the Central government was tagging non-tax bills with the Finance Bill for a “backdoor entry” to classify them as money bills, which don’t require Rajya Sabha nod, Jaitley said, “It is only taxation proposals and nothing else, which is incidental, really can find a place as far as the money bill is concerned.”
Just before the Bill was passed, BJD and Congress members staged a walkout over the Aadhaar issue and the government not committing to waive farm loans respectively.
While delivering his speech in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, Jaitley also supported demonetisation and termed it as a bold and decisive step which will be beneficial for the country.
According to a Hindustan Times report, Jaitley in a veiled attack on Congress said, “When the entire world is moving towards digital economy, a particular party is arguing for cash economy.”
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