The Lok Sabha on Thursday passed the Finance Bill by a voice vote, PTI reported. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said tax proposals in the bill were aimed at improving the ease of living and reducing pain of citizens.

Sitharaman, while discussing the bill, said Budget proposals will promote “Make in India” initiative and digital payments. The finance minister, however, did not relax the tax proposals for foreign portfolio investors, Tax Deducted at Source or TDS on cash withdrawal above Rs 1 crore from banks and increase in customs duty on newsprint that the Opposition had demanded.

Sitharaman said foreign portfolio investors could register as companies to avoid a new tax surcharge imposed on individual tax payers as well as trusts in the budget for the fiscal year, Reuters reported. Sitharaman had increased taxes on those earning annual incomes of more than RS 2 crore which also covered trusts.

On the 2% TDS on cash withdrawal above Rs 1 crore, Sitharaman said tax could be adjusted against the liability of the assesses and therefore will not have additional burden on them.

Sitharaman said the Finance Ministry has set up a task force to finalise a new Direct Tax Code.

The minister did not mention anything on the proposal to increase customs duty to 10 per cent on newsprint. Opposition had asked the government to reduce hike in customs duty on newsprint, saying it would badly hurt the small and medium newspapers.

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