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No tax proposal can be adopted without Parliament nod: Yechury

New Delhi: The CPI(M) today objected to the notification to waive service tax on debit and credit card transactions of up to Rs 2,000, saying no tax proposal can be adopted without being approved by Parliament.

“No taxation proposal can be implemented, except being approved by Parliament. It is a clear violation of parliamentary norms and procedures…. No tax proposal can be made anywhere else but in Parliament,” CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury told a press conference here. He said “all matters relating to withdrawal from or accrual to the Consolidated Fund of India …. cannot be carried out without Parliament’s nod. “In this case, the Consolidated Fund will receive less on account of service tax waiver because of the Prime Minister’s approval to it. This cannot be done.”

Yechury’s party colleague and Lok Sabha member Mohd Salim said service tax was passed by Parliament as part of the budget proposal. “So if any changes have to be made in it, it has to be made in Parliament.” Referring to today’s notification which was also tabled in Parliament, Salim said, “Never in history has any government been so fast that a notification is tabled in Parliament on the same day it has been gazetted.” The notification has been published in the Gazette of India today itself.

To a question on the Goods and Services Tax (GST), Salim said “it shows the government’s lack of trustworthiness as the measure has not been listed in Parliament’s agenda for next week, which is the last in this session.” The Winter Session was “advanced on the pretext of passing the GST but there is no reference to it in the government’s agenda,” Salim said. Yechury claimed there was “no agreement” between the Centre and the states in the GST Council. He said all the state Finance Ministers have reported revenue losses to states as “people are not buying anything due to demonetization”.