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'Altered' DTC Bill likely in monsoon session, says Pranab Mukherjee
May, 16th 2012

The government will bring the Direct Taxes Code (DTC) Bill in the monsoon session of Parliament and has indicated that most of the recommendations of the standing committee will be accepted, raising hope that the legislation that seeks to overhaul the 50-year old income-tax law may be passed quickly.

"I will have the opportunity to go through the recommendations (of the Standing Committee) after the Budget session and thereafter get the approval of the Cabinet. I will bring the DTC bill for approval of the both Houses in the monsoon session," Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said on Tuesday, as he moved the Finance Bill, 2012 in the Rajya Sabha.

The Lok Sabha has already approved the bill.

"Many of the recommendations of the standing committee will be accepted," FM said.

FM didn't have enough time to go through the standing committee report as he got it only on March 9, a week before the Finance Bill was presented in the Lok Sabha.

Former finance minister and senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha-headed Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance had suggested raising raising income tax exemption limit to 3 lakh from 1.8 lakh.

The Budget for 2012-13 has increased the limit to 2 lakh and raised the limit for the highest income tax slab to 10 lakh from 8 lakh.

The committee has also suggested abolition of the Securities Transactions Tax (STT), increase in investment limit for tax savings schemes to 3.20 lakh and threshold for wealth tax at 5 crore.

Mukherjee again clarified that the retrospective amendment to the income tax law to bring under the tax net transfer of Indian assets through deals concluded oversea will not apply to cases where assessment is complete.

Mukherjee added that clarificatory amendments to the tax laws do not override the provisions of the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA), which India has with 82 countries.

The industry fears that the rule will be used to open past cases as the retrospective amendment is from 1961.

Mukherjee has already withdrawn the excise levy he had imposed on unbranded jewellery in the budget and pushed back the implementation of the general anti-avoidance rules (GAAR) by a year.

The threshold limit for tax collection at source (TCS) on cash purchase of jewellery has also been raised to 5 lakh from 2 lakh.

Mukherjee said he proposed to make some amendments to the GAAR provisions, including appointment of independent member in the GAAR panel and permitting investors, domestic and overseas, to seek ruling from the Authority for Advance Ruling (AAR).

 
 
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