NEW DELHI: The Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed the Finance Bill, 2021, which gives effect to the financial proposals of the central government for the financial year 2021-22.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman replied to the debate on the bill which has some changes in the proposals made in the Union budget. The passage of the Finance Bill by Parliament marks the completion of the budgetary process.
The minister said the changes have been made largely to boost ease of doing business and easing compliance burden. She also said there will be no change in the rate of income tax. “This is a point on which even as the budget was being prepared, the Prime Minister was clear that we are not going to generate resources by raising the tax to meet the contingency which is arising out of coronavirus,” the minister said.
Several opposition members pointed to high prices of petrol and diesel and said the petroleum products should be brought under Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council.
The minister said that the Centre is open to discussing the idea in the GST Council meeting. “The Centre also taxes and the states also tax. If there is this concern about the fuel tax, I honestly think based on today’s discussion – many of the states would be watching this and in the next GST Council if that discussion comes up, I will be glad to have it on the agenda and discuss it,” she said.
She also noted that Maharashtra has the highest tax on petrol and diesel. “The point is, states also tax fuel, not just Centre. When the Centre taxes it is part of a devolvable amount,” she said.