Finance Minister P Chidambaram said that the Direct Taxes Code (DTC), initiated by him during his earlier tenure, needed a fresh look.
After a meeting with top officials of Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), he also said the tax department has to be firm with tax evaders for whom non-compliance is a business. "DTC has gone through various versions...I need time to look at DTC. I am only 28 days old... It requires a fresh look", Chidambaram said in reply to a question at a press conference.
The idea of DTC, which seeks to replace the Income Tax Act, 1961, was mooted by Chidambaram as Finance Minister in the UPA-1 government and lot of drafting was done when he was shifted to Home in 2008.
His successor Pranab Mukherjee introduced the DTC Bill in 2010 which also included a number of new provisions, followed by changes suggested by Parliament Committee on Finance.
The controversial provisions relating to retrospective tax amendments and GAAR were enacted in the Finance Bill, 2012, which are under review.
To a question whether General Anti Avoidance Rules (GAAR) would get postponed again, Chidambaram said, he was awaiting the report of the Shome Committee, which is looking into the concerns expressed by foreign and domestic investors.
On the indirect tax collections, the Minister said that he was hopeful that the target of Rs 5.05 lakh crore during the current fiscal would be met. Chidambaram said the department would have to be firm with the small number of non-compliant businesses.
"Most people would like to be compliant with tax laws. It is only a very small number that wishes to be non-compliant. I have told the department that we have to be firm with the small number of those non-compliant people", he said.
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