Minorities, Dalits urge Sinha to drop changes in bill

NEW DELHI, April 24 (UNI)

Fearing adverse impact on their charitable work, several minority religious, Dalit and tribal groups today urged Union Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha to drop certain amendments proposed in the taxation rules in the 2001 Finance Bill.

In a memorandum submitted to Mr Sinha here, the leaders of these groups said that the proposed amendments to sections 23 (c) of section 10, sub-section 2 of Section 11, Section 12 A and Section 139 (l) would affect the running of educational, medical and social empowerment programmes of these groups. ''We fear these amendments will add to the administrative red tape, dissipate funds meant for the welfare of people by diverting them to non-productive agencies, and open up organisations to bureaucratic harassment and political and economic blackmail. The pressure will be even more on organisations run by the religious and linguistic minority communities whose confidence has been deeply eroded by events in recent years,'' the memorandum said.

The leaders said that the amendments, sought to be brought in the name of ensuring greater transparency, would force religious and charitable trust to take out newspaper advertisements and reduce the period for which they can accumulate money for building new projects among other things.

Regretting that the organisations were not taken into confidence nor their suggestions sought, the memorandum said the proposed amendments would not add an iota to the transparency but will impose additional burdens on the organisations and make them vulnerable to new and unforeseen threats, it added.

Among the signatories to the memorandum, which was formulated at a meeting here yesterday presided over by Arch Bishop of Delhi Vincent Concessao, are the All India Christian Council, Maharashtra State Minorities Commissin member Araham Mathai, Minority Council secretary general Iqbal Ansari, Bahai leader A K Merchant and Dalit-Bahujan theoretician Kancha Ilaiah, Jian Kiran Raj.

Referred by:Balram Sampla
Published on: April 26, 2001
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