A united opposition will meet the President to protest against the Center’s decision to rush through the I-T Amendment Bill on Thursday, as the money bill was passed without any discussion in the house and it amounted to “denial of right of discussion”. On Tuesday, the Lok Sabha passed the Bill, which provides another chance to people with unaccounted cash to come clean and it was passed by a voice vote in complete din without any debate.
Meanwhile, another day of the winter session was lost to disruptions on Wednesday, with opposition lawmakers continuing to demand an explanation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the currency ban and also raising the terror attack in Nagrota, Jammu and Kashmir, in which seven armymen were killed on Tuesday. PM Modi was present in the Lok Sabha and the government offered to discuss both issues, but the opposition staged a walkout and forced multiple adjournments of both houses, finally for the day.
The I-T Amended Bill provides those with unaccounted cash or deposits of cancelled Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes to pay 50 per cent tax and come clean, or else, if caught, face a much harsher penalty and possible prosecution. The Union Finance minister Arun Jaitley had clarified that the government made these changes after it was seen that people were trying to launder the demonetized currency.
Incidentally, all the opposition parties including Janata Dal (United), whose leader Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is still in favour of demonetization, will be part of this march.
When Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee marched earlier this month to the President house, not many of the opposition parties had joined her. But before the end of the winter session, all the opposition parties like Congress, SP, BSP, DMK, AIDMK, TMC, AAP, NC and JDU are going to join this march describing the Centre’s recent move as “completely unethical”. The opposition group has also decided to jointly meet the president before the end of the winter session.