Regulations
Lok Sabha passes black money bill
The Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets bill, providing for heavy penalties for stashing black money away in foreign accounts, was passed by the Lok Sabha on Monday.
 
Moving what is called the Black Money Bill for acceptance by the lower house, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley rejected the opposition's demand of referring the bill to the Standing Committee, saying delay in enacting the legislation would provide opportunity to offenders to transfer unaccounted overseas wealth quickly to unknown destinations.
 
"The Bill (introduced in March) has no connection with domestic black money," Jaitley said replying to the debate on the bill.
 
"For the first time, unlawful, undisclosed income abroad has been taxed under this law at a tax rate of 30 percent with an additional 30 percent penalty on it," he added.
 
Explaining that a time-frame will be provided as a "compliance window for declaring and paying penalty", Jaitley said that failure to meet the compliance timeline will attract an additional penalty of 90 percent for a total tax liability of 120 percent on the quantum of black money abroad.
 
Besides, law provides for rigorous imprisonment of up to 3-10 years for perpetrators, he added.
 
The finance minister said India was foremost among a large number of countries that were taking interest in the G-20 initiative on automatic transmission of information with regard to monetary transaction.
 
Admitting that there was no official estimation of black money within India or stashed away abroad, Jaitley told parliament last week that the government was examining the reports of three institutes on the matter.
 
"Varying estimations of the amount of illicit money moving out of the country have been reported by different persons/institutions. Such estimations are based upon different sets of facts, data, methods and assumptions, leading to varying inferences," he told the Rajya Sabha in a written reply.
 
"However, there is no official estimation of the amount of black money stashed abroad or black money taken out of country," he added.
 
The previous United Progressive Alliance government had in March 2011 asked the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP), National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) and National Institute of Financial Management (NIFM) to estimate unaccounted income and wealth inside and outside the country.
 
An unofficial estimate of illegal money stashed away overseas puts it somewhere between $466 billion and $1.4 trillion.

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Land bill may go to joint committee

The Congress proposed that the committee may table its report on the first day of the next session of parliament, and the legislation can be taken up then

 

The land acquisition bill may go to a joint committee of parliament while the Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill can be sent to a select committee of the Rajya Sabha, government sources said on Monday.
 
According to sources, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad met Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu and said the GST bill should be sent to the select committee.
 
The Congress leader proposed that the committee may table its report on the first day of the next session of parliament, and the legislation can be taken up then.
 
On the land bill, meanwhile, with the opposition continuing its protest, the government is considering to send it to a joint panel comprising members from both houses.
 
"A final decision on sending the two bills to the committees will be taken after discussing the matter in the parliamentary party meeting tomorrow (Tuesday)," a senior minister said.
 
If a joint committee on the land bill is formed, it will have majority of BJP members in it as it is the ruling party, said government sources.
 
"Usually the joint committee has two-thirds members from the Lok Sabha and one-third from the Rajya Sabha. BJP, being the largest party, will have majority of members," sources said.
 

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Lok Sabha passes bill to repeal old appropriation acts

The Appropriation Acts (Repeal) Act, 2015, was passed by the house with a voice vote

 

The Lok Sabha on Monday passed a bill that seeks to repeal 758 appropriation acts including those pertaining to railways passed from 1950 to 2012.
 
Replying to the debate on the bill, Law Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda said that "automatic repeal clause" has been included in the bill and the appropriation act of 2013 will get repealed in 2016.
 
"This is a step for putting to death to acts which have become dysfunctional," he said.
 
The Appropriation Acts (Repeal) Act, 2015, was passed by the house with a voice vote.
 
The statement of objects and reasons of the bill states that it has been prepared to repeal 758 appropriation Acts (including appropriation (railway) acts) enacted by parliament during the period 1950 to 2012, which include 111 state appropriation acts enacted by parliament from 1950 to 1976.
 

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