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Finance Minister hopeful of DTC roll out from April 1, 2012
August, 08th 2011

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday expressed hope that the DTC would be cleared in the Winter Session of Parliament and there would be no problem in rolling out the new direct tax regime from April 1, 2012.

"I am hopeful that the Parliamentary Standing Committee will submit its report by Winter Session. And if we can get it through, in the winter session, which most probably would be possible, then there would be no difficulty to bring it into operation from April 1, 2012," he said at a CII event here.

The Direct Taxes Code (DTC) Bill, which was introduced in Parliament last year, proposes to replace the 50-year old Income Tax Act. Mukherjee said since the Bill is still with the Standing Committee, stakeholders have time to give their views.

On implementation of the new indirect tax regime, Goods and Service Tax (GST), he said, efforts are on to bring in convergence of views in Parliament. "We are working on it.. Divergence of views delay the process of getting it (GST Bill passed) as fast as we desire to. But there is no reason of despondency," he added.

He expressed hope that opposition parties would "extend their support in the final stage of getting it approved by both the Houses of Parliament."

Last month, senior BJP leader and Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi was elected as the chairman of the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers on GST.

Introduction of GST, which would subsume central and state taxes like excise, customs, service tax, sales tax and VAT has been pending for years in the absence of political consensus. A Constitution Amendment Bill has already been introduced in Lok Sabha for roll out of GST.

The Bill, however, is being opposed by the states, especially BJP-ruled ones, as well as BSP-ruled Uttar Pradesh, as they say its provisions would curtail their power to levy taxes.

Replying to another query regarding sops on infrastructure creation for gas transportation, the Minister said since Parliament was in session he would not make any comment, but added, "the matter is receiving our attention."

Regarding tax benefits to the manufacturing sector till the time DTC is introduced, Mukherjee said, any change in the existing policy will not be feasible.

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