Finance Bill amends 7 direct, indirect taxation laws: Sitharaman


New Delhi, Jul 18 (IANS): Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday said that The Finance (No.2) Bill, 2019 provides amendment to seven direct and indirect taxation related laws keeping in mind the "Make in India" prospective.

Moving the Bill in the Lok Sabha for passage, Sitharaman said amendments to laws are being made through the Finance Bill in five major categories, including in the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

"The Bill is looking at various taxation proposals of the Central government for the financial year 2019-2020. Under the direct taxation, about seven acts are being amended keeping in mind the make in India," the Finance Minister said.

She said the government is taking up several measures under the direct taxation.

Sitharaman said the Payment and Settlement systems Act, Black Money Act, Income Tax Act, Finance Act 2015, Finance Act 2004 and Benami Act are among the seven direct taxation laws which are being amended in the Bill.

These amendments in direct taxation aimed at reduction in corporate tax rate, incentive to purchase of electronic vehicles, incentive to startups, incentive to international financial service centre, intentive to certain non-banking financial companies, furthering government's agenda on tackling black money, the TDS on tax withdrawal from banks, compulsory filing of returns, quoting of PAN and Aadhaar and so on.

Under the indirect taxes, she said seven act are being amended so that indirect tax related matters will have "greater simplicity and be effective".

The indirect taxation acts include Customs Act, Tariff Act, Goods and Services Act (GST), the Finance Act 2002, the Finance Act of 2018 and others.

The GST alone has five different amendments which will have to take place so that there will be ease of compliance for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector as well as prompting digital payments and for improving compliance, the Finance Minister said.

"There is also amendment to the PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act)."

According to Sitharaman, eight Acts pertaining to financial markets, including Sebi Act, are being amended.

Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) member N.K. Premachandran objected to the Finance Bill having the provisions to amend a number of laws, including Benami Act, Sebi Act and PMLA Act, and urged Speaker Om Birla to disallow it.

A Finance Bill can only have taxation proposals, Premachandran said, soon after the Finance Minister stood up to move the Bill for consideration and passage.

He also accused the government of bypassing Parliament to avoid discussion and scrutiny for amending existing laws by including them in the bill.

Sitharaman said rules and constitutional provisions cited by Premchandran do not rule out non-taxation proposals for inclusion in the Finance Bill but only say that it should be done only when imperative.

"The government considers it very imperative," she asserted.

Birla, in his ruling, disallowed Premachandran's objections and said there have been occasions earlier as well when non-taxation proposals were included in the Finance Bill.

  

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