New Delhi, March 22, 2017

India Inc can make donations to political parties without any fetters now that the amendments to the Finance Bill, passed in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, have removed the existing cap of 7.5 per cent of their average net profits for last three financial years.

The amendments include reduction to the limit for cash transactions to Rs.2 lakh from the earlier envisaged Rs.3 lakh for Income Tax. Companies now do not have to disclose in their profit and loss accounts the name of the political parties to which they contributed.

The contributions to political parties will have to be made only through a cheque, bank draft, electronic means or any other scheme notified by the government. The Finance Bill 2017 already provided for the introduction of ‘electoral bonds’ to make contributions to political parties.

Come July 1, 2017, it would be mandatory for every person to quote their Aadhaar number when applying for a PAN or while filing their income-tax returns.

Bets on Aadhaar card

“We are seeing situations where one person is going around with five PAN cards. This cannot be allowed,” he said. Jaitley also did not agree with the contention of opposition members that even Aadhaar card could be misused. “There is less possibility of misuse of Aadhaar card,” Jaitley said.

The amendments stipulate that in case a person does not have an Aadhaar, he will be required to quote his Aadhaar enrolment number.

Also, the failure to provide an Aadhaar number would result in the PAN number (those already having PAN) being invalidated. Such persons would be treated at par with anyone who has not applied for a PAN.

Through the amendments the Centre has now excluded investments held by a non-resident in a FII between assessment years commencing on April 1, 2012, but before April 1, 2015 from the ambit of indirect transfer taxation, popularly known as Vodafone-type tax.

[The Hindu Business Line]