Lok Sabha today passed the Undisclosed Foreign Incomeand Assets (Imposition of Tax) Bill, 2015. The
Bill penalizes the concealment of foreign income, and provides for
criminal liability for attempting to evade tax in relation to foreign income.
At the beginning of the debate, various members of the opposition
urged that the Bill be sent to a Parliamentary Committee for examination.
Members from the opposition pointed out that the Bill contains other substantial
provisions alongside taxation proposals. Members felt that the Bill, though a money
Bill, required greater legislative scrutiny. However, the Speaker ruled that the discussion
on the Bill should begin.
During the debate members pointed out that while they do support
the Bill, it could be further strengthened. Members sought clarifications about
how the Bill treats ‘black money’ differently from certain provisions given
in the Income Tax Act and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. Members
further suggested that a legislation addressing the issue of domestic tax evasion
and the related black money generated must be brought in soon.
The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land
Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Second Amendment) Bill, 2015 was
introduced in Lok Sabha. During introduction several members raised objections
stating that a similar Bill had been passed by the House previously. However,
the Speaker overruled such objections as currently no identical bill to the one
being introduced is pending in the house.
The Whistle Blowers Protection (Amendment) Bill, 2015 was also
introduced in the lower house. You can
read a comparison of the provisions of the Whistleblowers Protection(Amendment) 2015 with that of the 2013 proposed amendments here.
Rajya Sabha was unable to take up scheduled business of the day
due to repeated disruptions.