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Direct Taxes Code (DTC) bill in current session, GST will be delayed

New Delhi, Aug 24 (Calcutta Tube) The government is likely to introduce the Direct Taxes Code (DTC) bill in the current monsoon session of Parliament, but the constitution amendment bill on GST will be delayed, a finance ministry official said Tuesday.

‘We are hopeful that the DTC will be introduced in the current session,’ Revenue Secretary Sunil Mitra told reporters on the sidelines of a CII event.

Mitra said there were not many unresolved issues on the DTC bill and it should be cleared by Parliament.

Direct taxes code will replace the Income Tax Act, 1961. It aims to expand tax base by minimising exemptions. Tax rates are expected to come down significantly under the proposed new tax regime.

Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Direct Taxes Code are two tax reforms that the government is aiming to introduce from April 1, 2011.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has been trying relentlessly to introduce both the tax reform bills in the current session of Parliament that ends August 31.

‘We don’t have sufficient support for the GST. So it is unlikely to be introduced in the current session,’ said Mitra, adding it would delay the implementation of indirect tax reform.

‘April 2011 deadline does not seem feasible. But we are not pessimistic. GST will happen sooner or later,’ he said without being specific on the timeline.

The Goods and services tax regime aims to bring uniformity in indirect tax structure across the country. It is a two-tier tax – a central rate and a uniform state rate – and will eliminate local indirect taxes such as central excise duty and state levies such as VAT, entertainment and luxury taxes.

BJP-ruled states have opposed the proposed tax structure saying it would infringe on their fiscal autonomy. They have sought a month’s time to study the draft constitutional amendment bill.

‘States are studying the bill and I am hopeful that a consensus will emerge on it,’ said Mitra.

— Indo-Asian News Service

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