DTC, GST Bills likely in monsoon session: Revenue secretary

Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee in his budget speech in February had said the Centre would endeavour to introduce both GST and DTC from 1st April next

The government today said the direct taxes code (DTC) Bill and a constitutional amendment bill to implement the goods and services tax (GST ) are likely to be introduced in the monsoon session beginning next week, reports PTI.

"It is our expectation that both the constitutional amendment bill and DTC Bill would be introduced in the monsoon session," revenue secretary Sunil Mitra told reporters on the sidelines of a Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) seminar in New Delhi today.

Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee in his budget speech in February had said the Centre would endeavour to introduce both GST and DTC from 1st April next.

Mr Mukherjee is scheduled to meet state finance ministers on Wednesday (21st July) to discuss the constitutional amendments needed for rolling out GST, which will replace excise duty and service tax at the central level and value-added tax (VAT) at the state level, besides surcharges and other local levies.   

"On GST, we are having the meeting of empowered committee tomorrow. The basic thrust is the IT system. Nandan Nilekani (the UIDAI chairman) will make a presentation tomorrow. And we need key decision on a common portal on PAN-based registration," Mr Mitra said.   

Answering a query on the rates to be levied under GST, he merely said, "GST rates should be revenue-neutral."  

He said changes in the DTC Bill from what was proposed in the first draft is possible until it goes to Parliament. "Until the DTC goes in the form of legislation in Parliament there is always scope to consider issues," Mr Mitra said.

The finance ministry has come out with revised draft of DTC and addressed the issues related to minimum alternate tax, taxing of long-term savings like provident funds in it.

The DTC is expected to replace the five decades-old Income Tax Act to make the direct taxes simpler to understand and have less exemptions and a taxpayer-friendly regime.

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