The Lok Sabha on March 25 passed the Finance Bill 2022, which gives effect to new taxation, thus completing the Budgetary exercise for 2022-23 fiscal.
The Finance Bill was approved by the Lower House after accepting 39 official amendments moved by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and rejecting the amendments proposed by the opposition by voice vote.
Replying to a discussion on the Finance Bill, Sitharaman said India was probably the only country that did not resort to new taxes to fund the recovery of the economy hit by the COVID pandemic.
She said that according to an OECD report, as many as 32 countries have increased the tax rates after the pandemic.
"Instead, we put more money where multiplier effect would be maximum," she said while referring to the Budget's focus on raising capital expenditure.
The Budget 2022-23 raised Capex by 35.4 per cent to Rs 7.5 lakh crore to continue the public investment-led recovery of the pandemic battered economy.
Observing that the Modi government believes in lowering taxes, she said the reduction in corporate tax has "helped the economy, government and companies, and we are seeing the progress".
She said Rs 7.3 lakh crore has been collected as corporate tax so far this fiscal.
The number of taxpayers has increased to 9.1 crore from 5 crore a few years back, she said, adding the government is taking steps to widen the tax base and the faceless assessment has been received well by people.
Responding to the concerns expressed by members on imposing customs duty on umbrella, she said it was done to encourage domestic manufacturing by MSMEs.
She further said that IFSC in Gujarat is making steady progress, and several global funds and insurance companies are setting up offices in the International Financial Services Centre at Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT).
Meanwhile, the opposition members on Friday made a strong demand in Lok Sabha to rein in rising fuel prices and accused the government of putting the people to difficult times soon after the elections were over.
Initiating the discussion on the Finance Bill in the Lok Sabha, Congress member Gaurav Gogoi said the government had kept the prices of petrol, diesel and cooking gas stable for a month and increased them thrice after the elections.
"Fuel prices have increased for the third time and jingoism is the only antidote this government is offering to the poor. Whether there is record unemployment, high inequality, or inflation, people are expected to put all their faith in the supreme leader," Gogoi said.
Trinamool member Satabdi Roy said the poor of the country were not bothered about the Finance Bill but were keen to know when the prices of petrol, diesel and cooking gas would reduce.(With inputs from PTI)