The Finance Minister told Rajya Sabha that the government may take action against prominent people who try to conceal taxable income as agricultural earnings
The Indian government on Tuesday indicated that action could be taken against "prominent people" who are trying to conceal taxable income as agricultural earnings.
"Many prominent people are doing this. Please do not say it is political victimisation if names come out afterwards," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in the Rajya Sabha.
Several opposition members, including from the Janata Dal-United and Samajwadi Party, cited reports that large amounts of black money were being shown as agriculture income.
Sharad Yadav of Janata Dal-United said reports suggested that Rs.2,000 lakh crore of income has been concealed as agriculture earnings.
Jaitley said anyone abusing the provisions of the Income Tax Act could be investigated and proceeded against.
Under the existing norms, agricultural income is exempted from income tax.
Some members alleged that the government might be thinking of starting to tax the farm incomes henceforth.
There could be a "conspiracy of taxing agriculture income" which must be opposed, said Ram Gopal Yadav of the Samajwadi Party.
Congress member Digvijay Singh said instead of "threatening", the finance minister should reveal names.
"He is misleading the house. Do not threaten us," Digvijay Singh said.