City-based National Academy of Direct Taxes (NADT), the alma mater of Indian Revenue Services (IRS) officers joining the income tax department, has mooted a proposal to set up an autonomous research institute on income tax. The proposal has been sent to the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), the governing body, which is examining the issue.
Named National Direct Tax Research Institute, it is termed as the only body of its kind in the country which can provide think-tank services to the government on taxation matters. "This is proposed to be an autonomous body with membership open even to experts from outside the department. So far there is no other full-fledged research body on direct taxes," NADT's director general GG Shukla told TOI.
NADT has enough infrastructure like buildings and other study material. Therefore, hardly any expenditure will have to be incurred on the research institute. Approval is needed for setting up the institute which will have to be registered as a society, he said. There are several issues, like transfer pricing, mergers and takeovers such as Vodafone case, which may be studied. With bringing back black money from the Swiss banks being a key issue these days there are chances that the proposed institute can provide research inputs on the topic.
A similar institute is there for Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and Indian Audit and Account Service cadres while one such body was set up for the Customs and Central Excise Department, said Shukla. The body is proposed to be run on self-sustaining basis so that government aid is least required, he said.
Former president of Nagpur Chamber of Commerce Limited (NCCL) Kailash Jogani said that experts from the department and outside can get a brainstorming opportunity. He said that foreign experts should also be involved in the light of rampant money laundering taking place around the world. Tejindershing Renu of Vidarbha Taxpayers Association, a newly formed body, said if the institute allows participation of outsiders, then the research should also be largely based on pro-taxpayer issues.