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'Time to Walk the Talk Instead of Managing Headlines': Congress Questions Centre on Tax Reforms

File photo of Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala.  (Image: PTI)

File photo of Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala. (Image: PTI)

Party chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala alleged that 'raid raj' by the ED and Income Tax has been the hallmark of the government and announcing amnesty schemes for tax evaders the BJP's legacy.

The Congress on Friday questioned the government over its tax reforms and accused it of "managing headlines" instead of honouring the taxpayer. Party chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala alleged that 'raid raj' by the ED and Income Tax has been the hallmark of the government and announcing amnesty schemes for tax evaders the BJP's legacy.

The Congress has been accusing the government of vendetta and "revenge" against its political opponents and "misuse" of probe agencies against them. "Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday re-published the speech he delivered on February 14," Surjewala claimed in a statement.

"Time for the Modi government to 'walk the talk' instead of managing headlines," he also said. Modi on Thursday launched a new platform to ease the compliance burden for assessees and reward the "honest taxpayer".

Surjewala alleged that Income Tax arrears under dispute have increased by 129 per cent in the last 5 years. He also said that as per Budget 2020, total outstanding direct and indirect taxes amount to Rs 11.09 lakh crore.

"Is this 'transparent taxation' or 'insurmountable taxation'," he asked. The Congress leader claimed that according to CAG, outstanding tax demand as on March 31, 2017 was Rs 10.45 lakh crore.

"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. "For a government that came to power promising to bring back Rs 80 lakh crore worth of 'black money' from abroad, these 'amnesty schemes' expose the 'jumlas' sold to people," Surjewala alleged.

He also asked why the Direct Tax Code has not been implemented in the last six years.

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