The Lok Sabha on Thursday passed the Finance Bill after a reply to the debate by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. The Bill was passed after amendments moved by the opposition were negatived. The Bill will now go to the Rajya Sabha. The passage of the Finance Bill will complete the budgetary process for 2019-20. Earlier, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman piloted the Finance Bill, 2019 to give effect tor financial proposals of the Centre for financial year 2019-20 for consideration and passing.
RSP member N K Premachandran raised objections and said the bill was against the basic rules of objection.
He cited the ruling of Lok Sabha’s first Speaker Ganesh Vasudev Mavalankar, second Speaker M A Ayyangar and Sumitra Mahajan, Speaker of 16th Lok Sabha, and said it was a ‘backdoor legislation’. Mr Premachandran said that powers given to the RBI under the Finance Bill, should not come under the purview of the Bill.
He said that these are permanent changes being made using a Money Bill. “The Bill amends several Acts, which do not come within the ambit of the Finance Bill. These are added to the Finance Bill to avoid discussion on these amendments,” he said. Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury also raised the objection on similar lines.
Ms Sitharaman responded to queries on the finance bill saying that the bill will look into the taxation process keeping in mind the agenda of ‘Make in India’. However, Mr Chowdhury said earlier amendments to the Finance Bill 2017 are in the Supreme Court for testing of the constitutional validity of those amendments.
The Finance Minister said under Direct taxation, seven Acts are being amended, furthering the agenda of ‘Make in India’ plan of the government. Ms Sitharaman said several measures under direct taxation have been taken amending including Payments Act, Black Money Act, Finance Bill, 2016 and Benami Act.
Under indirect taxation also, seven Acts were being amended comprising Customs Act, Custom Tariff Act, GST tax, Financial Act, 2002, Financial Act, 2018, CGST Act and IGST Act, she maintained. The minister also mentioned eight acts for financial markets including the SEBI Act, RBI Act, Insurance Act and National Housing Bank Act.
Central Road Fund Act was being amended, she said, adding that this will bring clarity and was necessary.