Pranab Mukherjee meets Chief Commissioners, Directors General of Income Tax
Seeks to simplify taxation structure
Will be put in public domain for debate
NEW DELHI: Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday announced that the much-awaited draft of the Direct Taxes Code would be released by the Government on Wednesday. The draft seeks to simplify the taxation structure and put it in the public domain for a wider debate before it is adopted.
“The government is taking a major step forward in direct tax reforms by formulating a new Direct Taxes Code, to be put in public domain tomorrow [Wednesday],” Mr. Mukherjee said while addressing a conference of Chief Commissioners and Directors General of Income Tax here. He said the best practices in the world have been studied and incorporated. Tax policies that would promote growth with equity have been reflected in the new provisions, he added.
Mr. Mukherjee further said that the government would introduce the Direct Taxes Code Bill in Parliament during the winter session. Direct taxes are those taxes which are collected directly by the revenue department from individuals and entities and include income tax, wealth tax and interest tax. Unlike direct taxes, indirect taxes are collected from individuals and businesses on behalf of the government. These include customs, sales tax and excise.
Mr. Mukherjee, while addressing revenue officials, asked the tax collectors to give their suggestions on the draft Code in time to enable the Ministry to finalise the document.
The Minister, in his budget speech in July, had said that his Ministry would come out with a discussion paper on Direct Taxes Code by August 20. The Code, he had added, would aim at structural changes in tax laws pertaining to direct taxes. It may also subsume various laws dealing with direct taxes such as Income-tax Act, Wealth Tax Act and Interest Tax Act.
The draft of the Direct Taxes Code and the discussion paper will be uploaded on the PIB website ( www.pib.nic.in) and the website of the Ministry of Finance ( www.finmin.nic.in) along with a web-based interface for readers to send their comments and suggestions.
The current Income-tax Act was enacted in 1961 to replace the earlier Act which had been legislated before Independence in 1922.
The Government had, therefore, announced its intention to introduce a revised and simplified Income-tax Bill while presenting the Union Budget.