NEW DELHI: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday promised to consider the demands of the debt-ridden states after receiving the report of the Finance Commission, which is likely to be submitted by this year-end.
The Rajya Sabha has discussed and returned the Finance Bill to the Lok Sabha. And it will now be sent to the President for his assent, after which it will become an Act.On the implementation of the controversial General Anti-avoidance Agreement (GAAR), Jaitley said the matter would be looked into after the Budget session. “We will take a final call after looking into the date issue and whether some amendments are required or not,” he said.
Referring to the drought situation in the country, the Finance Minister said there was room for hope since the monsoon had picked up lately. In the event of certain regions witnessing rain deficit, he pointed out that there is an existing mechanism to help deal with such a situation. When Congress member T Subbarami Reddy said that most of the issues raised by the Opposition were not mentioned in the reply, Jaitley said the government would consider the suggestions of all the members.
Earlier, responding to issues raised by the members during the debate, Minister of State for Finance Nirmala Sitharaman had made it clear that the Centre has no intention to give amnesty to the tax evaders.
“The (past) experience shows that when you bring in the Voluntary Disclosure of Income Scheme (VDIS), it discriminates against the genuine tax payers. Those who pay the taxes are disincentivised. It goes against honest tax payers. It may not be a conducive path for recovering more taxes,” she said.
Pointing out that representatives of farmers were consulted before preparing the Budget, Sitharaman said attempts were being made to provide relief to small and medium tax payers to encourage savings and promote growth. Initiating the debate, Reddy said though the Finance Bill had been passed by the Lok Sabha last week, there were some areas of concern. He also said the Budget didn’t live up to the Narendra Modi Government’s promises of transforming the country.
CPM sees no policy change
CPM’s Tapan Kumar Sen took a dig at the BJP, saying the saffron party has photocopied the polices of the previous UPA Government and expressed concerns over the drop in the share of direct taxes in the gross revenue collection.