Charting out the details of the Finance Bill 2019, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the government has set a 10 year vision, and given five year targets in which Make in India will be given a greater push. After a discussion, the bill was passed in the Lok Sabha.
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Speaking during the debate, Sitharaman explained all the policy changes she had recommended in her budget in the Finance Bill and related legislations.
She spoke about changes that were done to help startups, corporate sector, affordable housing, electric vehicles and greater regulatory control to the RBI.
“The direct tax amendments through the Finance Act seeks to promote Make in India by reducing tax rates for companies with a turnover of up to Rs 400 crore. This will cover 99 per cent of the companies,” Sitharaman said.
She said, “We have been considerate to startups and agreed to their demands. The condition for carry forward and set off of losses in cases of eligible start-ups is proposed to be relaxed, enabling them to carry forward their losses.”
For boosting affordable housing, she said amendments had to be done in the law to provide deductions of up to Rs 1.5 lakhs on interest. Incentives are being provided for the purchase of electric vehicles, addressing environmental concerns.
Facilities are being extended for low cost electronic payments because digitisation and less cash usage is a priority for this government. Every attempt is being made for people to use electronic payment, the minister said.
Other amendments are in the Prevention of Money Laundering (PMLA) Act. Of the eight amendments, Sitharaman said six were explanations to the existing provisions to tide over the any misinterpretation, which is sometimes misused by the accused.
She also said that TDS will be deducted on cash withdrawals. An individual who withdraws one crore or more in a year will be charged 2 per cent, reconciled with the taxes paid by that person.
While moving the bill, Sitharaman said that seven legislations under indirect taxation were being amended to ensure greater simplicity. She said that seven acts related to indirect taxation were being amended, and that the government will also bring in changes to seven laws related to direct taxation. The GST alone has five different amendments that would also make compliance easier for the MSME (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) sector, she added.