New Delhi: The Taxation Laws Bill (Second Amendment), introduced on Monday by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, stands passed in Lok Sabha’s Winter Session. The bill has been passed without any discussion. The Lok Sabha was later adjourned due to uproar by the Opposition.
Jaitley said that the bill is trying to plug the loopholes in the existing acts to ensure that tax evaders are not able to legalize their black money.
“The aim is to ensure this money comes into the mainstream. The rich’s black money will be used for the welfare of the poor,” Jaitley said.
The bill, which was tabled as a money bill in the Lok Sabha on Monday, proposes another income disclosure scheme giving tax payers to declare their undisclosed income but with more stringent penalties and higher tax rates. A part of the proceeds from this scheme are aimed to be used for the welfare of the poor.
The bill also proposes amendments to the Income Tax Act and the Finance Act to fix the flaws which may have provided tax evaders a way to legalize their black money
Under the income disclosure scheme proposed by the government, the declarant can declare his undisclosed income, pay a tax of 30% and penalty of 10% on the undisclosed income and a surcharge called ‘Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Cess’ of 33% on the tax, all of which totals up to around 50%.
In case the assessee does not declare the illegal income, the government proposes a tax burden of more than 82% and a stringent penalty in cases where such income has been unearthed through a search-and-seizure operation.
Since it is a money bill, the amendment will not encounter the challenge of a passage in the Rajya Sabha, where the government is in a minority.
Opposition parties, including the Congress, the Trinamool Congress (TMC), the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), opposed the introduction of the bill. They said that the bill should be taken up at a time when the proceedings of the House were in order.