Finance minister Piyush Goyal's promise of ending the uncertainty in the minds of tax payers has been fulfilled as the Rajya Sabha too approved his tax proposals with voice vote on the last day of budget session.
Union Budget 2019: Millions of income tax payers that will fall into the category of having net taxable income of up to Rs five lakh in the next fiscal can now heave a sigh of relief as the tax proposals made by finance minister Piyush Goyal in the interim budget have been passed by the Rajya Sabha. This being an interim budget, some critics have claimed that the government does not have the mandate to make substantial changes in the tax rates.
On the last working day of this session, NDA floor managers were able to forge a consensus to pass two important things with voice vote – motion of thanks to Presidential address and Finance Bill without debate.
Shiv Pratap Shukla, minister of state for finance moved the motion for passage of the Appropriation (Vote on Account) Bill 2019 the Appropriation Bill, 2019 which were approved by a voice vote.
Finance Bill and Appropriation Bills, being money bills are not required to be passed by the Rajya Sabha to take effect as the upper house has extremely limited to powers to legislate on financial matters of union government. A money bill is considered deemed to be passed by both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha after expiry of 14 days from the date of its passage in the Lok Sabha.
Finance minister Piyush Goyal was aware of the conventions of an election year budget while announcing the relief for small tax payers as he did not tinker with the existing tax slabs. However, by amending the provisions of section 87A of Income Tax Act, the finance minister enhanced the rebate to be given to tax payers from Rs 2,500 to Rs 12,500 and also increased the ceiling applicable on the income for giving rebate from Rs 3.5 lakh to Rs 5 lakh a year, making the income up to Rs five lakh completely tax free without changing the income tax slabs.