The process of rolling out the Direct Taxes Code (DTC) is under way, with the draft prepared from extensive stakeholder consultations currently being examined by various Ministries, Parthasarathi Shome, Adviser to Finance Minister, said on Friday.

Inaugurating a two-day all India workshop on Indirect Tax Laws hosted by the Madras Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI), Mr. Shome said the draft DTC which was formulated under the guidance of the Finance Ministry reflected the views of industry, the chambers and other stakeholder sections. “There has been a lot of speculation (about) what happened to it. Basically, that process is on. We have to give other Ministries time. Hopefully, when that is over, it will come to Parliament at some point,” he said.

On the Goods and Service Tax (GST), he pointed out that a draft Constitution Amendment Bill laying down the general features of GST had emerged from the various stages of stakeholder consultations. “The Bill will go back to the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers and later hopefully, it will be placed in Parliament,” he said.

Mr. Shome also urged industry to take a closer look at how the various rules under GST played out in different States. His case was that eventually GST would be passed only by the respective State governments. “It has to be signed by the State legislators and they have to pass it. That is the overall umbrella Constitution amendment that will allow both the Centre and the State to basically and fundamentally change the overall structure of tax assignment among the Centre and the States,” he said.

On the recent appointment of a seven-member Tax Administrative Reforms Commission which he heads, Mr. Shome said the goal would be to simplify taxation and administration, “to make it easier for tax-payers and at the same time fix accountability on them”.

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