New Delhi:

The Rajya Sabha on Wednesday returned the Finance Bill 2021 without any new amendment, completing the Parliamentary approval for Budget 2021-22.

The Upper House debated the amended Finance Bill 2021 that was approved by the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

Parliament cleared changes to the finance Bill 2021, doubling the minimum limit of employee contribution to provident fund to over Rs 5 lakh for the purpose of taxation with some riders, paving the way for the listing of Life Insurance Corporation (LIC), exempting Indian-owned assets sold on digital platforms from equalization levy, and giving tax holidays for the proposed development finance institutions (DFIs).

The two houses had previously approved the Appropriation Bill, authorising spending of certain sum of money.

With the Rajya Sabha returning the Finance Bill 2021, the Parliamentary approval for Budget 2021-21 has been completed.

Paving the way for the listing Of LIC, One of the major changes included in the Finance Bill 2021 is the amendments to the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) Act. It seeks to amend LIC Act, 1956, and brought provisions in alignment with listing and corporate governance norms under the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi).

The Budget in February proposed 27 amendments to the Act to help facilitate the listing of the insurance behemoth on the stock exchanges.

The amendments proposed to insert new sections in the LIC Act to provide for disqualifications to be a director, disclosure of interest by director and senior management, related-party transactions and adjudication of penalties for contravention or violation liable to penalty under the LIC Act.

The LIC Board will reduce its paid-up equity capital by giving a notice to members and creditors. It will also constitute a committee, which shall be headed by a judge of a high court, to consider repression on reduction, and will submit its suggestions to the board. Further, no one other than the central government shall hold equity shares in excess of 5 per cent of issued equity capital of the corporation.



Parliament on Tuesday However, the employee provident fund (EPF) relaxation may benefit only government employees who contribute to statutory provident fund and central provident fund, some experts said.

Now, an employee getting interest on his contribution to the EPF or similar funds of over Rs 5 lakh a year will have to pay tax in case there is no contribution from the employer, according to the amendments proposed by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and passed by the Lok Sabha. The Rajya Sabha does not have power to make changes to the Bill.

In the Budget presented last month, the finance minister had proposed to tax interest earned on EPF contributions of more than Rs 2.5 lakh annually. However, in the cases where employers contribute, the limit will remain Rs 2.5 lakh only, but the employers' contribution will not be counted.