Constitution & Law Current Affairs - 2020

Summary of latest bill and acts passed or pending in 2019 in Parliament of India with their salient features and issues for Current Affairs 2019 preparation for various examinations such as UPSC, SSC, State Civil Services, CLAT, Judicial Services etc.

BJP MP S.S. Ahluwalia to head joint panel on Land Acquisition Amendment bill

Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) MP Surendrajeet Singh Ahluwalia has been appointed chairman of a Joint Committee of Parliament that will look into the provisions of the Land Acquisition Amendment Bill, 2015.

The joint committee will comprise of 30-members- 20 members from Lok Sabha and 10 from the Rajya Sabha. The Committee will submit its report on the first day of the monsoon session.

NDA government led by Prime Minister this move come after they had agreed to refer the Land Bill to the joint committee after it had faced continuous resistance of opposition parties in the Parliament. Even some of its own allies like Shiv Sena, Akali Dal etc had shown opposition on various provisions of the amended legislation.

The agreement was reached during the recently concluded Parliament session. The bill has already been passed by the Lok Sabha. However it was stalled in Rajya Sabha as ruling government is in minority in upper house.

The NDA government also had promulgated ordinances in this regard twice on the bill since December 2014. The Congress and the Left parties have been targeting the ruling dispensation as anti-farmer and pro-corporate.

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Lok Sabha passes Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets (Imposition of Tax) Bill, 2015

Lok Sabha on 11 May 2015 passed Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets (Imposition of Tax) Bill, 2015 by a voice vote.

The bill seeks to deal with the menace of black money and to replace the Income Tax (IT) Act, 1961 for the taxation of foreign income.

Salient features of the Bill

Scope- Provisions will applicable to both undisclosed foreign income and assets including financial interest in any entity and the Act will be applicable to all persons resident in India.

Rate of tax– A flat rate of 30 percent tax will be applied to undisclosed foreign income or assets. In case of any carried forward losses, no exemption or deduction or set off will be allowed which may be admissible under the existing IT Act, 1961.

Penalties- Violation will entail stringent penalties. Following are penalties mentioned

  • For nondisclosure of foreign income or assets outside India, penalty will be equal to three times the amount of tax payable i.e. 90 percent of the undisclosed income in addition to tax payable at 30%.
  • In case of failure to furnish return in respect to foreign income or assets, there will be of 10 lakh rupees.

Prosecutions- For various types of violations, the bill proposes enhanced punishment. They are

  • For willful attempt to evade tax, the punishment will be rigorous imprisonment from 3years to 10 years and a fine.
  • In case of failure to furnish a return of foreign assets the punishment will be rigorous imprisonment of 6 months to 7 years with fine.

One-time compliance opportunity

  • It also adds provision of one-time compliance opportunity to persons for limited period who have undisclosed foreign assets that has not been disclosed for the purposes of Income-tax.
  • In this case, such persons will be permitted to file a declaration before a tax authority, and pay a penalty at the rate of 100%.

In order to include offence of tax evasion as a scheduled offence under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002, the bill proposes amendment to PMLA, 2002.

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