In an attempt to check the progress of the Finance Bill 2017 brought in by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, the opposition on Wednesday plans to bring its own amendments to the much-debated bill in the Rajya Sabha.
Wednesday will also see a 7-hour long debate in the Lok Sabha on the Goods and Service Tax (GST) Bill which the government wants to roll out before 1 July. The BJP-led NDA government has so far enjoyed an easy run in the Budget session, enabling it to table the important GST and Finance Bill.
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Crucial GST Bill to be Debated in Lok Sabha
(Photo: The Quint )
Lok Sabha will discuss the GST Bill on Wednesday.
The Centre which plans to roll out the Bill by 1 July hoping for favourable discussions on four crucial bills related to the GST which were tabled in the lower house by Arun Jaitley on Tuesday.
Describing the Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill as “revolutionary”, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday expressed hope that all the GST related bills would be passed with consensus in the current budget session of Parliament.
Jaitley had introduced the GST Bill, 2017, along with three other related bills in the Lok Sabha, providing for a maximum GST rate of 40 percent on Tuesday.
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Congress to Move Amendments to GST Bills on Wednesday
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi. (Photo: PTI)
The Congress will move amendments to the GST bills on Wednesday, as it has concerns about some clauses in the bills and the manner of tabling those in Parliament, said a party leader on Tuesday.
Concerns were voiced in a strategy meeting of the Congress MPs in the Lok Sabha. The meeting was chaired by Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi, who is said to have encouraged the MPs to play the role of a “constructive opposition”.
Party sources said that Gandhi also told the members that the party should not be seen as a party against the GST.
Some senior Congress MPs also felt that the party should not be seen as one that is opposed to the proposed tax regime.
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Finance Bill 2017: Disclose Names of Political Donators, Curb Powers of IT Officials
Sitaram Yechury , new CPI(M) General Secretary. (Photo: Reuters)
CPI-M’s Sitaram Yechury will table an amendment in the Rajya Sabha which will disclose names of companies that make financial contributions to political parties mandatory. The amendment demanding transparency will demand specific clauses to ensure that firms cannot fund political parties using subsidiary or shell companies.
Yechury has argued that the absence of these provisions will see companies indulging in fudging accounts to seek undue income-tax benefits or route its funds through shell companies.
The Rajya Sabha will also see senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh move amendments to the Bill against granting ‘sweeping powers’ to income-tax officers to conduct search without sanction from a higher authority.
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Centre Promoting Crony Capitalism, Creating Fear with the Finance Bill 2017
The Opposition has blamed the Modi government of trying to promote crony capitalism, creating fear by giving “unbridled power” to taxmen, trying to snoop into people’s lives through increased use of Aadhaar through the provisions of the Finance Bill.
Opposition parties in the Rajya Sabha, including the Congress, SP, BSP and the Left, have also lambasted the government for not making enough provisions for creation of jobs through the rural employment guarantee scheme or to have farm loan waivers to check the growing number of farmers’ suicide.
The Congress’ Kapil Sibal on Monday had questioned the move to use Aadhaar for filing tax returns, saying it amounted to snooping into people’s lives and the prime minister and the finance minister had earlier raised concern over the use of the unique identity number when the BJP was in opposition.