Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday introduced a bill that proposes to provide for resolution of disputed tax cases involving Rs 9.32 lakh crore, PTI reported.
In her Budget speech on February 1, the finance minister had announced the “Vivad se Vishwas” scheme that aims to resolve 4,83,000 direct tax disputes that have been pending with various tribunals. Under the scheme, taxpayers with disputed tax demands in several forums may pay due taxes by March 31 and get complete waiver of interests and fines.
The bill, named Direct Tax Vivad Se Vishwas Bill, 2020, will emphasise on trust-building, Sitharaman said while introducing the proposed legislation in Parliament. She said that the scheme will not be open-ended and may be availed only for a limited time.
The proposed law seeks to provide a “formula-based solution” without any discrimination, the finance minister said. It will reduce litigation expenses for the government and help in generating some revenue, she said.
Opposing the introduction of the bill, Congress’ Leader in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said the proposed law’s name was drafted in Hindi and alleged that the Centre was trying to impose the language on the entire country. He added that it will also hurt the government’s tax collection.
The other opposing MP from the party, Shashi Tharoor, said the Direct Tax Vivad Se Vishwas Bill violated the principle of equality by treating honest and dishonest taxpayers the same way.
Sitharaman addressed the dispute over the bill’s name. “While drafting the bill, they have used the Hindi name but that does not mean there is an imposition of Hindi here,” she said.
No foreign country has right to interfere in India’s internal matter: Naidu
Meanwhile, Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said that no foreign country can intervene in India’s internal matter. He made the remark after Shiv Sena MP Anil Desai brought up the European Union’s resolution against the Citizenship Amendment Act.
On January 29, the European Parliament – the legislative arm of the European Union – debated a joint motion combining several resolutions criticising India’s amended citizenship law. However, the Parliament postponed a vote on the motion till March.
“I want to make it very clear, as Chairman of the House and also as Vice President of the country, whatever issues are there, Indian Parliament is a sovereign authority to discuss and decide,” Naidu said on Wednesday in the Upper House. “Outside countries have no right to interfere in our internal affairs.”
Naidu asked whether the countries under the European Union would like it if the Indian Parliament discussed matters like Brexit.