Finance Bill gets Prez nod, takes effect from today
President Pranab Mukherjee has given his assent to the Finance Bill 2017 to give effect to provisions like bar on cash transactions above Rs 2 lakh and compulsory quoting of Aadhaar for filing tax returns.
"The President was kind enough to give his assent tothe Finance Bill before he left for official visit to Assam yesterday," Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said here.
With this, the provisions of the Finance Bill come into effect from today, he said.
This is the first-time ever the annual Budget together with taxation proposals have come into effect from the first day of the financial year.
Scrapping a colonial-era tradition of presenting the Budget at the end of February, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had for the first time in the history of independent India presented the annual accounts on February 1.
The legislative process of getting approvals for demands for grants or spending, general Budget as well as taxation proposals contained in the Finance Bill 2017 were all completed by March 30. President's assent was taken the very next day.
This will give the government more time to implement welfare spending programmes and taxation plans.
Previously, when the Budget was presented at the end of February, the three-stage Parliament approval process used to get completed some time in mid-May, weeks ahead of onset of monsoon rains. This meant government departments would start spending only from August-end or September after the monsoon ends.
Besides advancing the presentation date, the Budget scrapped the Plan and non-Plan distinction and merged the Railway budget with it, ending a nearly century-long practice.
Advancement of the Budget will give government departments more leeway to spend as well as allow companies time to adapt to business and taxation plans. Adhia said all taxation and other proposals in the Finance Bill 2017 have come into effect from Saturday.