Dispelling all notions about the NDA government being a
‘Suit boot ki Sarkar’ in his third Budget, government dedicated it to
farmers, the poor and vulnerable sections of society.
Union budget also raised taxes on the incomes of the
super-rich and introducing new cesses on services and cars to fund farmer
welfare projects and infrastructure, respectively.
Mr. Jaitley’s budget for 2016-17 attempted to address the
distress in the rural economy that has hit demand creation and new
investments, with enhanced outlays of nearly Rs. 2.75 lakh crore for
programmes in the social sector, farmer welfare and the rural sector.
FM said “Our initiatives in the last 21 months have not
only placed the economy on a faster growth trajectory but have bridged the
trust deficit, created by the previous Government.”
He also said government had to work in an unsupportive
global environment, adverse weather conditions and an obstructive political
Despite higher expenditure owing to the 7th Central Pay
Commission and the one rank one pension norm for defence forces, the Finance
Minister chose to stick to the fiscal consolidation road map he outlined
last year and set a 3.5 per cent of GDP target for 2016-17.
The government will infuse a capital of Rs.25,000 crore
this financial year into state- owned banks, which are reeling under the
burden of bad loans.
The government has decided to open a one-time, four-month
compliance window for domestic black money-holders.
This gesture is intended to help them come clean by
paying tax and penalty of 45 percent.
Capability of the tax department to detectevasion had
improved be- cause of increased access to information and the availability
of technology-driven analytical tools to process such information.
The compliance window will enable one to declare
undisclosed income or income represented in the form ofany asset, and clear
up past tax transgressions by paying tax at 30 per cent, a surcharge of 7.5
per cent and a penalty of 7.5 per cent.
The surcharge at 7.5 per cent will be called Krishi
Kalyan surcharge, and the money thus raised will be used for agriculture and
There will be no scrutiny of money declared, either under
the Income-Tax Act or the Wealth Tax Act.
And the declarants will have immunity from prosecution.
They will also get immunity from the Benami Transaction (Prohibition) Act,
1988, subject tocertain terms.
The compliance window, named Income Disclosure Scheme,
will open on June 1. It will be open till September 30.
The Supreme Court on Monday admitted a petition filed by
a woman to declare the practice of triple talaq, nikah halala and polygamy
under Muslim personal laws as illegal, unconstitutional, and violative of
the rights to equality, dignity, life and freedom of religion under the
The petitioner said “Practice of polygamy is not an
integral part of Islam, and polygamy has been recognised as injurious to
pub- lic morals.”
The practices under challenge, which practically treat
women like chattel belonging to men, are neither harmonious with the modern
principles of human rights and gender equality nor an integral part of
Ms. Bano said many Islamic nations, including Saudi
Arabia, Pakistan, and Iraq, have banned or restricted such practices, while
they continue to vex not only Indian Muslim women but also the society at
large, not- withstanding that the Muslim community of India has itself been
clamouring for reform and ban of oppressive practices that have no basis in
Islam or the Holy Quran.