Today, Lok Sabha took up discussion on the Finance Bill. This
Finance Bill, a money bill, includes various tax proposals presented in the
Budget. A money Bill does not require to be passed by the Upper House.
Before the debate began,
two chapters, related to Public Debt Management Agency and Forward Contracts
Regulation, which amended the Government Securities Act, the Forward Contracts Regulation
Act and the RBI Act, were removed from the Bill. Several members raised concerns,
highlighting that this Bill should not contain non taxation proposals. Members
pointed out that while all money bills are finance bills, all finance bills are
not necessarily money bills. Members felt that this Finance Bill included
financial matters outside the definition of ‘money bill’ as per Article 110 of
the Constitution. Hence such provisions in the Bill would need to be passed by
Rajya Sabha as well. Members stated that inclusion of provisions regarding benefits
to senior citizens, prevention of money laundering were beyond the mandate of
this finance bill and the power of Rajya Sabha to legislate on these issues
should not be curtailed.
The Minister argued that as per Article 110 (1) (b), ‘money bills’
can contain amendments to a law with respect to ‘financial obligations’ and
hence these were within the purview of the Bill.
The Speaker finally ruled that this Bill could be taken up for
detailed discussion. The Bill with 41 amendments was passed by the lower house.