A week after the finance ministry met tax consultants and held discussions on tax reforms, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today set up a four-member committee to be headed by tax expert Parthasarathi Shome to look into the controversial General-Anti Avoidance Rules.
The final report on GAAR will be submitted on 30 September. Other members on the commitee include N Rangachary, former IRDA chairman; Sunil Gupta, joint secretary, tax policy and legislation, department of revenue, and NIPFP professor Ajay Shah.
“While postponing GAAR by one year to 2013 was a very welcome move, a widespread consultative process is necessary to generate a discussion on GAAR provisions so that there is an informed debate on how GAAR is going to operate,” the PM said in a press release today.
Parthasarathi Shome, ICRIER director told CNBC-TV18 that the expert committee would
consider all aspects in the review of GAAR and meet all stakeholders including the industry.
The PM has assured of doing away with tax arbitrariness and addressing the concerns of foreign investors.
The provisions of GAAR, which aims to target tax evaders, partly by stopping Indian companies and investors from routing investments through Mauritius or other tax havens for the sole purpose of avoiding taxes, has invoked sharp criticism from foreign and domestic investors. Following the criticism, the government decided to postpone its implementation by one year to April 2013.