Rahul demands rollback of proposed EPF withdrawal tax

New Delhi, March 3: Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Thursday, March 3 lent his voice to the chorus of demands for rolling back the proposal for taxing EPF withdrawal to give relief to employees and not to "thieves" who would benefit from the "fair and lovely scheme" in the budget on blackmoney.

"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 told reporters in Parliament House complex.


He said that Modi should instill confidence in the employees and voters by withdrawing the proposal. Taking a jibe again at the proposed single-window compliance scheme on black money, announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the Union Budget, Gandhi said 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 the 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.

The 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.

An official press note later said the demands for levying tax only on the accumulated returns on the corpus and not on the contributed amount was under government's consideration. The total portfolio under the pension and provident fund scheme is estimated to be around Rs 6.5 lakh crore.


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