Govt hopeful of House panel report on DTC in winter session
December, 02nd 2011
Dec 1 (PTI) The Government expects that the Parliamentary standing committee report on the Direct Tax Code (DTC) will be presented during the ongoing winter session to enable implementing tax reforms by April next, a senior Finance Ministry official said today. "Right now, the Bill is before the standing committee of Parliament. They had raised certain questions and we have replied to all of them," Central Board of Direct Taxes Joint Secretary for tax policy and legislation Sunil Gupta told an international taxation conference here. He said once the panel report comes in, it will be easier for Government to meet its target of introducing the DTC from April. Gupta, however, declined to comment if he fears the ongoing logjam in Parliament will hurt progress on the DTC. The draft DTC Bill was released in 2009 and sent to the committee after comments and suggestions. Presenting the DTC in FY12 Budget, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had said once implemented, the DTC will replace the Income Tax Act. The DTC Bill, first introduced in Parliament in 2009, seeks to raise the I-T exemption limit to Rs 2 lakh from the present Rs 1.6 lakh besides widening the tax slabs to levy 10 per cent tax on income between Rs 2 and Rs 5 lakh, 20 per cent on Rs 5-10 lakh and 30 per cent above Rs 10 lakh. Work on the ambitious DTC has been on since 2005 when a proposal was mooted to streamline the existing tax laws. Meanwhile, Nishith Desai of the law firm Nishith Desai Associates said there are many concerns with the Bill and the Government should not hasten in implementing it. Sufficient inputs should be taken from legal experts to strengthen the drafting, he said.
Consulting firm KPMG Deputy Chief Executive and its taxation practices Chairman Dinesh Kanabar said the April 2012 deadline is "unrealistic" as the Government machinery will not be ready enough to adopt to the massive changes needed to implement DTC. PTI AA BEN RSY