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RSS affiliate & BJP leader spar over Modi govt decision to do away with retrospective tax 

Swadeshi Jagran Manch co-convenor Ashwani Mahajan and BJP leader Vijay Chauthaiwale argued on the implication of the Modi government decision. 

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New Delhi: A war of words broke out between Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) affiliate Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) and a senior BJP leader over the Modi government’s decision to do away with the retrospective tax amendment.

In a tweet the national co-convenor of SJM, Ashwani Mahajan, said the decision would lead to a loss of revenue to the government and cited it as a peril of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). The SJM is the economic wing of the RSS. 

“It is true that under pressure from international arbitration, government had no other option, but the title should be Relief to thieves – Thousands of Crores of Rupees Loss to Government and Public.  A great example of disadvantages of foreign investment,” he tweeted Friday. 

Vijay Chauthaiwale, the in-charge of BJP’s Foreign Affairs Department, took exception to this and said asking such questions may not be in national interest.

“Dear Shri @ashwani_mahajan , so are you demanding total ban on FDI?” Chauthaiwale responded. 

 

Reacting sharply, Mahajan wondered why government decisions can’t be scrutinised.  

“Sir ji, read the tweet. Is it a crime to talk about advantages and disadvantages of a policy?” he tweeted. 

 

In response, the BJP leader said: “Everything that is not criminal may not be in larger national interest, a point you repeatedly fail to acknowledge”. 

 

Mahajan then invited Chauthaiwale for a debate on the issue: “Shri @vijai63 why don’t you come for a debate about your ‘great’ beliefs?” 

The BJP leader is yet to respond to the tweet. 

Retrospective tax

In a move aimed at doing away with the controversial retrospective tax amendments of 2012 by the then UPA government, the Modi government Thursday tabled a bill in the Lok Sabha to amend the Income-Tax Act.

The bill has been passed in the Lok Sabha and does not require Rajya Sabha’s approval as it is a money bill. ThePrint had reported how the move will end India’s dispute with Vodafone Plc and Cairn Energy among others wherein tax demands were raised by the I-T department going by the retrospective changes to tax laws. 

Terming it as a ‘sore point’, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said: “In the past few years, major reforms have been initiated in the financial and infrastructure sector which has created a positive environment for investment in the country. However, this retrospective clarificatory amendment and consequent demand created in a few cases continues to be a sore point with potential investors.” 

(Edited by Arun Prashanth)


Also read: Retrospective tax is a start, Modi govt needs to do more to make India’s playing field fairer


 

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