Economy

Finance Minister introduces Direct Tax Vivad Se Vishwas Bill in Lok Sabha

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman   | Photo Credit: Kamal Narang

It violates principle of equality, hurts tax collection efforts, says Congress

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday introduced a bill in the Lok Sabha to provide for a mechanism to settle disputed tax cases to the tune of ₹9.32 lakh crore.

However, Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury objected to the Direct Tax Vivad Se Vishwas Bill, 2020, saying it violates parliamentary tradition by using Hindi and English language.

Introducing the bill, Ms. Sitharaman said it focusses on trust building rather than seeing it as mere tax resolution. She informed the House that it will not be an open-ended scheme but will have a specific time-frame. She said the bill will reduce the litigation expenditure for the government and generate revenue.

Opposing the introduction, Mr Chowdhury said the bill’s name is not only an attempt to impose Hindi but will also hurt the tax collection efforts.

Joining the debate, his party colleague Shashi Tharoor said the bill equates an honest tax payer with the dishonest tax payer and violates the principle of equality.

The Finance Minister, however, pointed out the contents can be debated later.

In her Budget speech announcing the Vivad se Vishwas scheme, Ms. Sitharaman had said nearly five lakh cases of tax disputes are pending in various tribunals.

Under the scheme, taxpayers whose liabilities are caught in dispute can pay their taxes by March 31, 2020 and avail themselves of a complete waiver of interest and penalty.

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Printable version | Feb 27, 2020 7:47:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/Economy/finance-minister-introduces-direct-tax-vivad-se-vishwas-bill-in-lok-sabha/article30741377.ece

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