Published On : Fri, Apr 11th, 2014

VTA slams arrest & discretionary provisions in DTC 2013

VTA DTC meeting

Nagpur News : Vidarbha Taxpayers Association (VTA) organized a special meeting chaired by its president J. P. Sharma to discuss implications of recently proposed Direct Tax Code (DTC) 2013 by Ministry of Finance.

Tejinder Singh Renu, secretary of VTA presented the Direct Taxes Code, 2013 Bill consisting of 343 pages which has been prepared with a view to consolidate and amend the law relating to income-tax and wealth-tax and proposed to be enacted by Parliament in the Sixty-fourth Year of the Republic of India and also brought to the knowledge of the members he most striking portion i.e. taxation which is mentioned at the First Schedule of the DTC Bill.

Renu said the Indian Government first unveiled DTC 2009 along with a discussion paper to replace the Income Tax Act, 1961 in August 2009. Yet, in August 2010, Government tabled revised DTC 2010 in Parliament which was then referred to the Standing Committee of Finance for its review and comments and the same submitted its report to Parliament in March 2012 and now again the Finance Minister has released DTC 2013 for public discussion on April 1, 2014.

Sharma said VTA supports income tax exemption limit to Rs 2 lakh as proposed in DTC 2013, which if augmented to Rs. 3 lakh would result in huge revenue loss of around Rs 60,000 crores, however strongly recommend that the 10% income tax slab proposed from 2 to 5 Lakh should be increased to 10 lakh, similarly 20% income tax slab as proposed from 5 to 10 Lakh should be increased to 10 to 20 lakh and 30% slab from 10 lakh to 10 crore should be 20 lakh to 15 crores. Above Rs 15 crores another slab of 35% could be incorporated. By doing so tax base will increase and more Taxpayers will be attracted in declaring more income thus increasing revenue considerably, which will also result in boosting economy of the Country to a large extend.

Renu however condemned the DTC 2013 on the grounds that the much required social security and accountability clause on the officers of the department is still missing; which is most likely avoided as Government is not keen on eliminating corruption. Every year the taxpayers are brought under more severe punishments, including penal provisions, but the Finance Ministry and Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) intentionally avoids accountability on them in order to keep them free for save escape from the clutches of law and justice.

Shrawankumar Malu, vice president of VTA suggested that Finance Ministry apart from sharing full volume of DTC consisting of 343 pages, should also provide important changes proposed in synopsis so that common man can easily understand its implication and participate in sharing their views in large numbers, which would result in true contribution by all.

VTA also strongly condemned the Part IV of the Eighteenth Schedule which deals in respect of procedure for recovery of tax, wherein unprecedented & discretionary powers to the Assessing Officer to arrest and/or attach movable/immovable properties of the defaulter taxpayer. Out of 125 Crore population very few are direct taxpayers and are truly contributing to the nation building, giving such discretionary powers to Assessing officers is absolutely unjustified, arbitrary and should be withdrawn.

Renu said, the Income Tax Act, 1961 is already well settled law, with various appeals till the Apex Court have made it a well covered commentary, now scraping this with DTC will lead to many new litigations and would take almost a decade to become well established; under such circumstances need of bringing DCT 2013 is inexplicable. DTC under such form with Eighteenth Schedule will multiple corruption as well as inspector raj.

Meeting was attended by Joint Secretary – Hemant Trivedi, Executive Body Members Rajesh Kanoongo, Saqib Parekh, Govind Patel, CA Hemant Sarda and Rohit Kanoongo.