New Delhi, Feb 5 (IANS) Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday introduced a bill in the Lok Sabha designed to provide resolutions for disputed tax cases involving crores of rupees.
Introducing the Direct Tax Vivad Se Vishwas Bill, 2020, the Minister informed the lower House that the Bill focuses on trust building and provide a formula-based solution without any discrimination.
The Bill, she said, will reduce the litigation expenditure for the government and at the same may help in generating some revenue.
Under the ‘Vivad se Vishwas’ scheme announced in the Union Budget, taxpayers whose tax demands are locked in dispute in multiple fora can pay their taxes due by March 31, 2020, and get complete waiver of interest and penalty.
Talking about the scheme, Sitharaman said that it will not be an open-ended one and can be availed for a limited period.
Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) Chairman P.C. Mody on Tuesday had also said that the direct tax dispute resolution scheme offers a fair deal to settle pending tax disputes and he urged people to come forward and avail the plan.
Congress leader of the House, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, opposed the introduction of the bill, saying its “drafting is done in Hindi”, which signals the government’s intent of trying to impose one specific language in the country.
The bill will also hurt the government’s tax collection, the Congress leader said.
Echoing similar sentiments, his party colleague Shashi Tharoor said: “The Bill violates the principle of equality by equally treating honest and dishonest tax payers.”
In her budget speech on February 1, Sitharaman had announced the ‘Vivad se Vishwas’ scheme to resolve 483,000 direct tax disputes pending in various tribunals.