New Delhi: Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Thursday demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi roll back the proposal for taxing employee provident fund withdrawals.
"EPF is the safety net of the employees and imposing a tax on this is wrong. I will urge the Prime Minister to announce... that the tax will be rolled back," Gandhi said. He said that Modi should instill confidence in the employees and voters by withdrawing the proposal.
The total portfolio under the pension and provident fund scheme is estimated to be around Rs 6.5 lakh crore. Taking a jibe again at the Government's proposed amnesty scheme on black money, announced by Jaitley in the Union Budget for the next fiscal, the Congress Vice President said that the relief should be given to the employees and not to the "thieves."
"I had said yesterday that you (Modi) have given the fair and lovely scheme to thieves. (Instead) Our voters and employees should get relief," he added.
Picking on the one-time compliance window announced in he Budget as a "Fair and Lovely" scheme, Gandhi had yesterday said this was nothing but a move to turn the black money into white.
"The Finance Minister has announced a new scheme-Fair and Lovely scheme. In this scheme, any thief of the country can convert his black money into white. If anyone indulges in corruption, he can convert his black money into white using the Fair and Lovely scheme," Gandhi had said.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his 2016-17 Budget speech has proposed that 60 per cent of withdrawal from contribution to EPF made after April 1 this year will be subject to tax.
A government press note later said a proposal to tax only interest and not principal is under consideration.