Income tax amendment bill passed in Lok Sabha amid protest

The logjam in both houses of Parliament continued for the ninth consecutive day on Tuesday over demonetisation as the Lok Sabha passed amid opposition protest an income tax amendment bill to facilitate levy of 60 per cent tax on undisclosed income.

While opposition members in the Rajya Sabha insisted on prime minister Narendra Modi’s presence, the opposition in the Lok Sabha stuck to its demand for a discussion under the rule governing an adjournment motion which entails voting. In the Lok Sabha, the Taxation Laws (Second Amendment) Bill, 2016, was passed as the opposition protested and raised slogans against the government.

According to the Bill, the declarant will have to pay a tax of 60 per cent and an additional surcharge of 25 per cent of the tax (i.e. 15 per cent of income), resulting in a total tax component of 75 per cent. Union finance minister Arun Jaitley, while moving the bill for consideration and passing, called it one of the steps by the Centre to curb black money.

However, the Opposition members insisted that the Lower House first take up a debate on demonetisation under the rule pertaining to an adjournment motion, and the bill be taken up thereafter. Earlier in the day, the Lok Sabha was disrupted repeatedly as opposition members created ruckus over the fiscal chaos following the November 8 demonetisation.

The first adjournment came soon after the house met at 11 a.m. when Speaker Sumitra Mahajan’s attempts to run the Question Hour failed. The house was first adjourned till 11.30 a.m, then till noon followed by another adjournment till 2 p.m. The scene was no different post lunch and the house was adjourned till 2.30 p.m. At 2.30 p.m., as Jaitley moved the Income Tax (Second Amendment) Bill, 2016 for consideration and passing, opposition members objected. Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said the debate on demonetisation should be taken up first.

Trinamool Congress leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay suggested clubbing debate on the bill and demonetisation together. Members also complained that they were not able to move amendments as certain amendments needed President Pranab Mukherjee’s assent. Amendments to a bill that may relate to drawing money from the Consolidated Fund of India need President’s approval.

Credits Bangalore Mirror

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