Sithara­man open to tweaks in the Bud­get

Fi­nance min­istry to come out with de­tailed rules on Vi­vad Se Vish­was Bill in a cou­ple of days

Business Standard - - FRONT PAGE - INDIVJAL DHASMANA

Fi­nance Min­is­ter Nir­mala Sithara­man did not rule out tweak­ing pro­vi­sions of the Bud­get to ad­dress con­cerns of in­dus­try. She also said her min­istry was will­ing to take more steps be­yond the Bud­get an­nounce­ments to boost the econ­omy.

Fi­nance min­is­ter Nir­mala Sithara­man did not rule out tweak­ing pro­vi­sions of the Bud­get to ad­dress con­cerns of the in­dus­try. She also said her min­istry is will­ing to take more steps be­yond the Bud­get an­nounce­ments to boost the econ­omy.

“As and when tweak­ing will have to hap­pen in the Bud­get or as and when more has to be done be­yond the Bud­get, we are will­ing,” she said in her i nter­ac­tion with sec­tor ex­perts on Fri­day.

The fi­nance min­is­ter also said that the min­istry will come out with de­tailed rules on its di­rect tax res­o­lu­tion scheme in a cou­ple of days. This will pro­vide clar­ity to those who are keen to set­tle their tax dis­putes un­der the scheme.

Changes to the Bud­get are made when the Fi­nance Bill comes up for dis­cus­sion, which will hap­pen af­ter Par­lia­ment re­con­venes af­ter the re­cess next month.

In­dus­try sought clar­ity on taxes on real es­tate in­vest­ment trusts (REITS), in­fras­truc­ture in­vest­ment trusts (In­vits), div­i­dend tax, em­ploy­ees stock op­tions (ESOPS) and real es­tate, among oth­ers.

The amended di­rect tax res­o­lu­tion or Vi­vad Se Vish­was Bill is yet to be tabled in Par­lia­ment and then en­acted. As such, the rules un­der the Bill would not be in the form of a no­ti­fi­ca­tion, Sithara­man said.

She said the de­tails will give a clear pic­ture of what the no­ti­fi­ca­tion will con­tain once the Bill is passed by Par­lia­ment. “In a day or two, we will be com­ing out with a clear non-pa­per (on the scheme) be­cause Par­lia­ment is yet to pass it,” she said.

She told con­sul­tants from Deloitte and Price­wa­ter­house­c­oop­ers, among oth­ers, that they will have time to look at these and tell their clients what will come out. “You will get 30 days or three weeks be­fore the Bill is passed,” the fi­nance min­is­ter told the con­sul­tants.

Re­cently, the Cabi­net okayed ex­pand­ing the scope of the Bill called Vi­vad Se Vish­was to make it more at­trac­tive. The am­bit will in­clude lit­i­ga­tion pend­ing in ar­bi­tra­tion fo­rums and debt re­cov­ery tri­bunals (DRTS). The scheme will also in­clude cases re­lated to re­vi­sion and small-value search dis­putes.

The Cabi­net also sweet­ened the scheme by re­duc­ing the dis­puted amount by half for those as­sessees who got favourable or­ders, but the in­come tax depart­ment chal­lenged those.

Sithara­man has al­ready in­tro­duced the Bill in the Lok Sabha to re­solve dis­puted tax cases, amount­ing to ~9.3 tril­lion, giv­ing ef­fect to the Bud­get an­nounce­ment.

The scheme of­fers waiver of in­ter­est, penalty, and pros­e­cu­tion for set­tling tax dis­putes. It was ear­lier limited to cases pend­ing be­fore the com­mis­sioner (ap­peals), the In­come Tax Ap­pel­late Tri­bunal, high courts or the Supreme Court as of Jan­uary 31, 2020. Now, a com­plete waiver of in­ter­est and penalty will be given if tax dues are paid by March 31.

An ad­di­tional 10 per cent of the dis­puted amount will have to be paid af­ter that. To queries on em­ploy­ees stock op­tion pro­vi­sions in the Bud­get for start-ups, the fi­nance min­is­ter said she is will­ing to know the opin­ion of the in­dus­try whether to treat ESOPS as salary or perk and how it should be taxed.

PHOTO: PTI

Fi­nance Min­is­ter Nir­mala Sithara­man dur­ing a meet­ing at the NITI Aayog, in New Delhi on Fri­day

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.