Regulations
Breath of Fresh Air
Tax administration may see some change thanks to Hasmukh Adiha’s initiative
 
A heartening move that has attracted little media, or public, attention is the series of tweets by Hasmukh Adhia, who has recently taken charge as revenue secretary at the Union finance ministry. 
Mr Adhia, whose twitter handle is @adhia03, tweeted: “I request people to send me their suggestions on tax reforms on my personal email ID address [email protected]” More importantly, he added, “I would be opening this email myself so whistleblowers also kindly send me information with verifiable facts.”
 
Mr Adhia’s openness in sharing his personal email and the assurance to whistleblowers are very significant. One of the biggest worries for those who want to expose wrongdoing in India, and not merely by tax and enforcement officials, is vindictive action, if their identity is revealed. Government officials, even in the prime minister’s office (PMO) under different regimes, are extremely cavalier about revelations of whistleblowers’ identities, leading to their murder, as in the Satyendra Dubey case, or extreme harassment. 
 
Mr Adhia has further said that using information technology (IT) to “bring transparency in the tax department” and “removing complexity of rules and procedure” is his top priority, followed by assessment of readiness to implement GST whenever it is approved by parliament. A positive move in that direction is the quick acceptance of the Justice AP Shah Committee’s report about granting relief on MAT (minimum alternative tax) to foreign institutional investors for the period before 1 April 2015. A clean-up of the tax administration is going to be key to every initiative of the government, whether it is rolling out GST (goods & services tax), building entrepreneurship and job creation, the ‘Make in India’ initiative or issues affecting large corporates and multinationals. In this context, it is heartening to see two of India’s most dynamic bureaucrats—Hashmukh Adhia and Amitabh Kant, secretary, DIPP (department of industrial policy & promotion) on the same page. After a very inspiring talk in Mumbai at Moneylife Foundation, the questions that Mr Kant was repeatedly asked were about harassment over taxes, the lack of a stable tax regime and lack of accountability. Mr Kant was himself was emphatic that the ‘Make in India’ effort would depend on a stable tax regime and predictable policies. The way forward lies in cutting the number of regulatory clearances and impediments to doing business by using technology which would improve India’s ranking in the ‘Ease of Doing Business Index’. 
 
However, both, Mr Adhia and Mr Kant’s biggest challenge would be to tackle the deep vested interests among the rank and file at tax and investigation agencies, who, over the past decades, have become habituated to collecting bribes, not only for themselves, but also to buy promotions and postings and pass them up the line to senior officials. It remains to be seen how this will be dealt with. 

User

COMMENTS

J Pinto

1 year ago

Please read the biography of eminent IAS officer (retired) KJ Alphons

It may be downloaded free here

http://www.alphonskannanthanam.com/book....

He reveals that India's biggest asset turned liability is its "brilliant" IAS officers who have lost their spine.


50% are corrupt.
49% are spineless - bending to please their political master
Only 1% of IAS officers are fearlessly true to their calling.

Suketu Shah

1 year ago

I wrote to him and got his ack in 5 days.Remarkable and great that we have such a person in very imp top govt post.

Ravindra Shetye

1 year ago

Good initiative. However, the vested interests will have to be RUTHLESSLY tackled. I know of a case of ITO in Mumbnai IT Office who was caught red handed while taking bribe and more money was recovered from his drawers. It was therefore surprising to see the officer at his desk again after about 1.5-2 years. Such a thing obviously happens when it is a GROUP BRIBING.

Ravindra Shetye

1 year ago

Good initiative. However, the vested interests will have to be RUTHLESSLY tackled. I know of a case of ITO in Mumbnai IT Office who was caught red handed while taking bribe and more money was recovered from his drawers. It was therefore surprising to see the officer at his desk again after about 1.5-2 years. Such a thing obviously happens when it is a GROUP BRIBING.

MG Warrier

1 year ago

I look at such initiatives with lot of optimism.I believe the large majority of bureaucrats, politicians(not political leaders),teachers, media persons, 'rich people', technocrats etc. are good people and left to themselves would try to be honest and helpful to the people around. I agree things have gone wrong. But, corrective action is possible. I think, AAP, Modi and the enthusiasm of the present generation(those born in Independent India and more particularly those under 35 now)as positive signs. Change is here to stay. What is happening in Income Tax Department or finance ministry is part of that change.

REPLY

Meenal Mamdani

In Reply to MG Warrier 1 year ago

I heartily agree with Mr. Warrier.

If India did not have the good people Mr. Warrier lists, it would be a basket case.

The crucial factor is today's young. They have a "can do" mind set and unlike the older people, do not expect govt to come up with solutions to problems.

I think that there is a great need for online forums like MoneyLife has provided in finance, to discuss problems in various sectors and offer solutions.

I am keeping my fingers crossed that the energy of millions who voted for Modi, not for his hindutva ideology, but his promise of bringing about change in governance, will lead to a more dynamic and socially just India.

VISWANATHAN K N

1 year ago

A CA said in many high value refund cases the assessment is not made at all. When the assessee approach the IT dept they prepare a back dated demand notice which was never sent to the assessee. Then the official agrees to process the refund with interest provided 50% of the interest is paid as bribe.

Dahyabhai S Patel

1 year ago

As every body knows the funds given to political parties is black money and majority of it remains unaccounted even by parties. Mr. Adhiya must be knowing this. Will he really do something fruitful to expose this as well as the following in this text and take action? Even IT officers are making "tod/jugad" in most of IT raids!! All registrations of properties transfers etc. are not done without paying bribes to revenue officers and intermediaries!! Will he do any thing suo moto?

REPLY

Gupta

In Reply to Dahyabhai S Patel 1 year ago

Can we for a change stop criticising every good step simply because there are other good steps that can also be taken! Take it easy.

Sunil Kapadia

1 year ago

I liked it. Hope to see some positive changes in our tax administration soon.

Fortnightly Market View: Traders’ Paradise
While day-to-day movements may be sharp, the Nifty will stagnate

 

In the...
Premium Content
Monthly Digital Access

Subscribe

Already A Subscriber?
Login
Yearly Digital+Print Access

Subscribe

Moneylife Magazine Subscriber or MSSN member?
Login

Yearly Subscriber Login

Enter the mail id that you want to use & click on Go. We will send you a link to your email for verficiation
69 small oil, gas blocks to be auctioned under revenue-sharing
For the first time, the Indian government will soon begin the process for auction of 69 small and marginal oil and gas fields on a new revenue sharing model, where bidders will quote the revenue they will share with the government at both low and high ends of the price and production band.
 
An official source told IANS here that the change in model is designed to help keep the government share in cases of windfall from both steep rise in prices as well as quantum jump in production.
 
The new revenue sharing model will replace the controversial production sharing contracts (PSCs) - by which oil and gas blocks are awarded to those firms which show they will do maximum work on a block - that has governed the bidding under the earlier nine New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) rounds.
 
The PSC regime, which allows operators to recover all investments made from sale of oil and gas before profits are shared with the government, was criticised by India's official auditor, who said it encouraged companies to keep inflating costs - "gold plating" - so as to postpone giving higher share of profits.
 
The source said of the 69 fields of state-run explorers of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and Oil India Ltd (OIL) which are to be auctioned, 27 are in Mumbai offshore while another 15 are in the Krishna Godavari (KG) basin. On offer are also 10 discoveries in the Assam Shelf.
 
However clubbing together of adjacent fields has brought down the number to be auctioned to 48, while the final number on offer may be still lower, the source added.
 
ONGC and Oil India surrendered 63 and six oil and gas fields, respectively, which they found uneconomical to develop in view of small reserve size and high economic cost.
 
Cumulatively the surrendered fields hold about 50.8 million tons of oil and 53.45 billion cubic meters of gas, the source added. The biggest discovery is D-18 in the Mumbai offshore that holds 14.78 million tons of oil reserves.
 
Earlier this month, the union cabinet approved the landmark change in India's hydrocarbons exploration regime.
 
Speaking to reporters after the cabinet meeting, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said that companies offering the maximum revenue share or percentage of oil and gas to the government, and committing to do more work, will win the field.
 
Stressing that with this move, producers will be spared day-to-day government interference, he said the government was unlocking 89 million tonnes of untapped hydrocarbon reserves worth Rs.70,000 crore.
 
Among the gas discoveries, the largest is ONGC's B-9 find in the offshore Kutch basin that has in-place reserves of 14.67 bcm.
 
The government approval of the marginal fields policy proposing a revenue sharing mechanism and market prices for output, would shift the key risks to developers, India Ratings and Research (Ind Ra) said in a report earlier this month.
 
Noting developers will need to consider an overall exploration, development and production cost along with volume and price estimates, as these would be the key variables for ensuring a reasonable internal rate of return on the projects," it said the older methodology "outlined in PSC meant lower risks for developers as it allowed them to first recover the costs incurred, followed by the sharing of profits with the government."

User

We are listening!

Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.
  Loading...
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email

BUY NOW

The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Magazine and Lion Stockletter)