The Rajya Sabha, where the government lacks majority, approved the Finance Bill, 2017 on Wednesday with four amendments forced by the opposition. Three amendments were piloted by Congress leader Digvijay Singh and were related to search and seizure powers of I-T officials, powers of the commissioner, and powers of an I-T authority to survey a charitable organisation. CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechury also moved an amendment related to removal of limits of corporate funding to political parties.
Since the Finance Bill is a money Bill, Lok Sabha enjoys supremacy. If the Lok Sabha does not accept any of the recommendations of the Rajya Sabha, the Money Bill is deemed to have been passed by both Houses in the form in which it was passed by the Lok Sabha without any of the amendments recommended by the Rajya Sabha. Lok Sabha approved the Bill on March 22 with 40 amendments.
Earlier, while replying to the debate, finance minister Arun Jaitley strongly defended the government’s endeavour to make Aadhaar compulsory for access to various benefits, saying it was necessary to check frauds, including tax evasion. The Finance Bill and Appropriation Bill, which contain Budget proposals, need Parliament approval before their implementation. The Appropriation Bill has already been approved by the Parliament.