Amid a din, a bill which seeks to tax money deposited in banks post demonetisation was passed in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday 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 notes. He said as per the amendment proposed, those caught illegally converting money will have to cough up 60 peer cent tax plus penalties, which will come to 85 per cent.
Those who disclose black money to banks will have to pay 50 per cent tax, including surcharge and penalty. While they will get back 25 per cent immediately, the rest 25 per cent will be returned after 4 years. “It will give means to the Government of India to run schemes like Garib Kalyan Kosh…I urge the House to accept the amendments,” he said.
Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said since the bill is of urgent public importance, it has to be passed immediately. Though she wanted a debate, she said “it is impossible” because of the behaviour of the opposition members. She also disallowed some amendments moved by opposition members as they required approval of the President which could not be obtained.
Two amendments by N K Premchandran (RSP) and B Mahtab (BJD) were allowed. While Premchandran refused to move the amendment as he was shouting slogans, Mahtab’s was negated by a voice vote. The Bill was later passed by a voice vote amid din.