Stressing on tax relief to the middle class, Finance Minister Piyush Goyal on Tuesday said that as per Finance Ministry calculations, individuals earning up to Rs 9.5 lakh annually can, in effect, live without paying taxes by taking advantage of savings schemes.
Replying to the debate on the Finance Bill in the Lok Sabha, Goyal said he did not propose any change in the tax rate but only provided few rebates which will boost spending and help the economy.
The Finance Bill, which contains tax proposals, was passed by the Lok Sabha with voice vote, completing the budgetary process in the Lower House.
In a swipe at the Congress, the minister said that unlike the previous UPA dispensation, the Modi government in the interim budget did not reduce the levy on SUVs, which are used by rich people.
The debate on the Bill turned political as the BJP fielded multiple MPs, including Nishikant Dubey and Tourism Minister K J Alphons, to assert the government’s achievements in the past five years even as the Congress’s K C Venugopal brought in the Rafale deal and demanded a JPC. Quoting reports, Alphons said that jobs have been created in the tourism sector which is booming in India.
On multiple occasions during his reply, Goyal alluded to the BJP making a comeback to form the next government. The concessions proposed in the Finance Bill, Goyal said, are aimed at helping “poor and middle class people living on tight budget…This is interim budget. We have not brought any tax proposal…we will bring them in July,” he said. “I bring good news that inflation has further lowered to 2.05 per cent in January this year. What better report card for a government than this?”