Money Bill: by BehramKermany

During the last couple of days, there is a lot of concern among people regarding the amended Finance Bill that got passed yesterday (23rd March) in Parliament by Arun Jaitley. The media is busy with so many other headlines that they have *totally* ignored this bill, which is probably the *most important law* passed in India since the Emergency in 1975.
Here are the main points:

1. Aadhaar is now compulsory for filing tax in India. The Govt can cancel your PAN card if you don’t enrol for Aadhaar. This is *against the Supreme Court order* which said people cannot be forced to register for Aadhaar

2. Govt can choose not to apply this requirement to some persons while applying it to others. As per this bill, they have total rights.

3. The govt has created a new way of donating to political parties, called “electoral bonds” which guarantee to keep the donor’s identity a secret. *Anyone* can buy electoral bonds for *any amount* and donate them to a political party. The party *does not need to declare* the donor’s name. Previously, if anyone donates more than Rs.20,000 to a party, it has to be declared. Electoral bonds help political parties to get around that rule.

4. Companies (including foreign) can donate to parties *WITHOUT ANY LIMIT* (previously there was a limit of 7.5% of last 3 years’ total profits). Also, companies now *DON’T NEED TO DECLARE* their donations to parties.

5. The Finance Bill, apart from dealing with financial aspects, also makes changes to *many, many other parts* of our constitution. Here are some examples:

a. Changes to Section 132 of the Income Tax Act: making it possible for IT officials to *raid anyone, anytime, without giving any reason* (previously they had to give a convincing reason to the IT Appellate Tribunal, which is a court)

b. Representation of People Act, which contains the rules about our elections and political parties. Yesterday’s bill made the change as per points 3 and 4 above.

c. Appointment of judges on Tribunals under 17 other laws/acts (yes, 17!) will now be totally controlled by government *without* the approval of parliament. Earlier, parliament approval required.

d. Other acts that the bill makes changes to: Industrial Disputes Act, Employees Provident Funds Act, Copyright Act, Trademarks Act, Railways Claims Tribunal Act, Railways Act, Airports Authority of India Act, National Highways Act, TRAI Act, Information Technology Act, Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India Act, Competition Act, Companies Act and Cinematograph Act.
*Here’s the best part* – this whole bill was tabled as a “money bill”, meaning it does not require Rajya Sabha approval at all – simply Lok Sabha approval, where the government has majority, is enough!
This bill gives the government total control over citizens’ lives. Please, please forward this message to as many of your friends as possible, since the media is totally busy reporting other things.


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