Govt sneaking in amendments: Oppn

Govt sneaking in amendments: Oppn
The Opposition on Monday accused the government of turning the country into a “surveillance state” where it is trying to snoop by increasingly using Aadhaar and giving unbridled power to taxmen. Seeking to put the government on the mat over a slew of amendments it moved in the Finance Bill, the Opposition questioned the BJP-led dispensation for promoting crony capitalism and trying to muzzle the state’s voice.

Another common theme in the speeches during the discussion was objection to the government “sneaking in” several amendments, which were not dealing with tax proposals, fearing that the Rajya Sabha, where the NDA is in a minority, will not clear certain measures that they object to. Initiating the debate, Congress MP Kapil Sibal said the government was not interested in prosperity, but was trying to unleash taxmen on the people, besides “wantonly giving a push to crony capitalism”.

He criticised the haste in which the government was moving ahead on making Aadhaar mandatory for several services, saying it was a violation of the fundamental right to privacy. Accusing the government of violating the Supreme Court directions on Aadhaar, he said, “By saying that my Income Tax return would be invalid unless I give my Aadhaar number, you have violated the orders of the court. What is your explanation for that? Your explanation can only be arrogance of power.” Raising concern over the security of data, he said, “If the Pentagon can be hacked, why not the Aadhaar? Anything can be hacked.”

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