Member Parliament from Patiala Preneet Kaur on Tuesday while speaking on the discussion on the Finance Bill urged the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to immediately revive the MPLAD fund saying that, "It is a due right that we parliamentarians have to try and satisfy the needs of our constituency". She also reiterated her appeal to the finance minister of enhancing the salaries of Asha workers who were our frontline workers during pandemic period.
On Agriculture Infrastructure and Development Cess added by the FM in the Union Budget 2021-22, Preneet Kaur pointed out that the cess will have a negative impact while affecting fiscal federalism and reducing the states' revenue share greatly and compromise their the ability to maintain their mandate of development.
She also pointed out that the Finance Bill 2021 contains a number of provisions that may not strictly meet the definition of a Money Bill, as these provisions do not relate to taxes, borrowing of money from the Government, nor expenditure or receipts involving the Consolidated Fund of India.
"Pushing such proposals through the Finance Bill can only be seen as an attempt to evade Parliamentary scrutiny as in the case of a Money Bill the Rajya Sabha does not have rights to reject or amend it. It is quite like the Ordinance route adopted by the government to push important legislation, bypassing Parliamentary scrutiny," she regretted.
While speaking about the impact of pandemic on country's economy she pointed out that, "Our agricultural sector was the only silver lining while every other sector of our economy was impacted by the pandemic. And this was possible only because of the hardworking farmers and farm labour of the country. The same farmers who have been peacefully and patiently protesting for their due and just demands."
Talking about the tax relief for salaried class which was expected from the government, the Patiala M.P. said that "Contrary to huge expectations, no relief has been provided to taxpayers, as standard deduction for the salaried and pensioners remains the same as before. Even though more than 2.1 crore salaried jobs were lost during the various phases of the lockdown and many of those who did manage to retain their jobs did so at the cost of deep cuts in pay and incentives."
Calling the Finance Minister's proposition of exemption to senior citizens misleading, she pointed out that "The Finance Minister's proposition to exempt senior citizens of 75 years age and above from filing their income tax returns, is an illusion as well, since the concessions proposed by the Finance Minister are not unconditional and neither do they imply any exemption from income tax, as was mistakenly presumed by many in a moment of glee. The exemption, in fact, is from filing returns subject to certain conditions."