New Delhi: Congress has alleged that 'honouring the honest' scheme is yet another 'amnesty scheme' to 'honour the dishonest' and said that the Bharatiya Janata Party's legacy is amnesty schemes for tax evaders and converting black money to white.
A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the new taxation scheme and launched the 'Transparent Taxation - Honouring the Honest' platform among other reforms.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala in a statement said, "Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday re-published the speech he delivered on February 14, 2020. Except for managed news headlines, PM's announcements ended up being a 'Zero-Sum Game'. Income Tax arrears under dispute have increased by 129 per cent in the last five years - and the stark reality of Modi government's 'Transparent Taxation' is that income tax arrears have surged many fold."
Citing the Budget 2020, the Congress said Rs 9,40,000 crore worth of 'direct tax' amount is under dispute. Of this, demands related to corporate tax amount to Rs 4,88,000 crore while taxes on income and other heads amount to Rs 4,50,000 crore. In contrast thereto, direct tax arrears as on March 2014 were only Rs 4,10,000 Crore, total increase of 129 percent in five years.
The party said the demands relating to "indirect taxes" of commodities/services amount to Rs 1,69,000 crore, taking total outstanding to Rs 11,09,000 cores. Is this "transparent taxation" or "insurmountable taxation"? asked Surjewala.
The party in a statement said "target based" tax collection is the new "tax terrorism". Due to the target based tax collection system, Income Tax Receivables (ITR) that are under dispute have reached Rs 6,23,539 crore (according to the documents of the interim budget 2019-20). Of these, taxes due by companies or corporation tax, have touched nearly Rs 4,00,000 crore.
Questioning the government's intention, Surjewala said, "Is announcing 'three amnesty schemes' back to back honouring the honest? Repeated voluntary disclosure schemes are only meant to serve the 'dishonest' at the cost of the 'honest'. These are convert "black money into white" schemes."
The Congress said for Government that came to power promising to bring back Rs 80,00,000 crore worth of 'black money' from abroad, these 'amnesty schemes' expose the jumlas sold to the people, he added.