Parliament Diary

PRS Parliament Diary: Budget Session – Day 7: Feb 8th, 2017

General Discussion on the Union Budget began in Lok Sabha today. Members from across parties participated in the debate. Members participating in the debate raised various points related to the effect of demonetisation on the economy, farm income, generation of jobs, among other things.

The Payment of Wages (Amendment) Bill was passed in Rajya Sabha.  The Bill amends the 1936 Act to permit the employer to pay an employee’s wages: (i) in coin or currency notes; or (ii) by cheque; or (iii) by crediting them into his bank account.  It removes the requirement of obtaining written authorisation for payment of wages by cheque or through a bank account. However, the relevant central or state government may specify certain industrial or other establishments where the employer should pay his employees only by: (i) cheque; or (ii) crediting the wages in his bank account.

The Motion of Thanks to the President’s Address was adopted in the Upper House, after the Prime Minister replied to the debate.

 

The Finance Minister of Assam, Mr. Himanta Biswa Sarma presented the Budget for Assam for financial year 2017- 18 on February 7, 2017.For detailed analysis please click here.

Policy Highlights:

  • Incentives to promote industry: Government to provide up to 90% of one time expenditure incurred on capital expenses involved in setting up Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) centres in the state. Further, 100% reimbursement will be provided on stamp duty paid by BPO and information technology firms.
  • Promotion of banking: Rs 5,000 each will be given to tea plantation workers who have opened bank accounts.
  • Pay Commission: The government will retrospectively implement the 7th Pay Commission’s recommendations from April 1, 2016. The estimated burden on the state is expected to be Rs 2,200 crore. First instalment of the same will be released in April 2017.
  • Rs 5 crore has been allocated to provide two-wheelers to 1,000 top-ranking girl students who pass high school in 2017.

Tax exemptions:

  • Hotels and lodging houses, including homestays in rural areas will be exempt from paying luxury tax.
  • 50% entertainment tax exemption to permanent multiplexes for 3 years which screen Assamese/regional film on one of the screens.
  • Cess on green tea leaf further reduced from 15paise/kg to 10paise/kg for small tea growers.
  • Women self-help groups are exempted from stamp duty on documentation of bank loans up to Rs 2.5 lakh.
 

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