New Delhi, Nov 29: In a bid to curb the black money menace, the Narendra Modi government moved its demonetization drive to another level on Tuesday by passing the Taxation Law Second Amendment Bill 2016. Amid uproar in the Parliament, the Lok Sabha today passed the Taxation Law Second Amendment Bill 2016. Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley slammed the opposition and said the government introduced the bill to amend the Income Tax law in view of preventing a few people who have been trying to convert black money into white after demonetisation. Jaitley had introduced a bill to amend the Income Tax law and introduced the taxation laws in the Lok Sabha on Monday.
During his address in the Parliament, Jaitley stated that the bill was aimed at tackling black money and reiterated government’s stand on demonetization. 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”, Jaitley said.
Jaitley further added that the Bill will give means to the Government of India to run schemes like Garib Kalyan Kosh…I urge the House to accept the amendments. He further lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi demonetisation drive and said this huge announcement on November 8 was made to fight the menace of black money and corruption in the country.
As per the Bill, the total amount of tax, including cess which one has to pay on unaccounted deposits will be 50 per cent and the tax rate would mount up to 85 per cent if unaccounted wealth is caught by the Income Tax authorities. Also, those who choose to declare their ill-gotten wealth stashed till now in banned Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes under the Pradhan Mantri Garibi Kalyan Yojana 2016, will have to pay a tax at the rate of 30% of the undisclosed income.
As per reports by PTI, 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. A total of 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 Ministry of Finance statement said, “Concerns have been raised that some of the existing provisions of the Income Tax Act can possibly be used for concealing black money. The Taxation Laws (Second Amendment) Bill, 2016 has been introduced in Parliament to amend the provisions of the act to ensure that defaulting assessees are subjected to tax at a higher rate and stringent penalty provision”.
The Upper House too witnessed uproar as Opposition demanded Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s presence in the House. The Opposition parties shouted slogans while Finance Minister Arun Jaitley spoke in the Lok Sabha on the debate over Income Tax Bill. Jaitley said that the intention of demonetisation was clearly to wipe out black money. Meanwhile, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “We work in public domain, opposition criticises us but reply is always given by the people who elect us”. Earlier today, Narendra Modi asked all BJP MPs and MLAs to give details of their bank accounts to Amit Shah from Nov 8 to Dec 31.