Under the modified norms, a retired high court judge with seven years of experience would be eligible for the appointment for the SAT chief’s post, finance minister P Chidambaram told reporters after the Cabinet meeting
New Delhi: The government today expanded the eligibility criteria for presiding officer of the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) and said it hopes to soon fill the post which has been lying vacant since November 2011, reports PTI.
Under the modified norms, a retired judge of a high court with seven years of experience would be eligible for the appointment for the SAT chief’s post, finance minister P Chidambaram told reporters after the Cabinet meeting.
As per the existing criteria, only a retired judge of the Supreme Court or a former chief justice of a high court can be appointed as SAT presiding officer.
“We are hopeful that we can fill this vacancy quickly and ordinances will be promulgated and then Chief Justice of India will be (requested)... to suggest the name of the judge,” Mr Chidambaram said.
The government will be promulgating an ordinance to amend the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Act, 1992.
SAT chief’s post has been lying vacant since November 2011 because the government could not find a willing judge meeting the eligibility criteria, Mr Chidambaram said.
“We have consulted the Chief Justice of India and decided to enlarge the eligibility by including a sitting or retired judge of a high court, with a minimum of seven years of service as a judge,” he said.
Set up as statutory body, SAT hears appeals against orders of market regulator SEBI.
Although the government in September had invited applications to fill the vacancy, it could not find a suitable candidate.
“The government is constantly addressing concerns of investors. There will be amicable resolution of the issue (Vodafone tax case) in the Budget,” a top finance ministry official told PTI
New Delhi: The finance ministry is working towards an amicable resolution of the retrospective tax amendment issue that could provide some relief to British telecom giant Vodafone, which is facing a tax liability of Rs11,200 crore, reports PTI.
The proposals, to be based on the recommendations of the Shome panel, are likely to be introduced in the Finance Bill to be presented by finance minister P Chidambaram in the Budget for 2013-14.
“The government is constantly addressing concerns of investors. There will be amicable resolution of the issue (Vodafone tax case) in the Budget,” a top finance ministry official told PTI.
Vodafone is facing a tax liability of Rs11,200 crore following its acquisition of Hong Kong-based Hutchison Whampoa’s stake in 2007 that included its Indian telecom business.
The problem arose after the then finance minister Pranab Mukherjee amended the Income Tax Act, 1961, with retrospective effect to undo the Supreme Court judgement that had ruled in favour of the company.
In view of the concerns expressed by international and domestic investors, the government had appointed a committee under tax expert Parthasarthi Shome to look into the issue.
The committee had suggested that either the government should withdraw the retrospective tax amendment or waive the penalty in case it had to recover the taxes.
The government will be taking a call on the suggestions of the Shome panel. The changes in the Income Tax Act, however, are likely to be introduced in the Budget to be unveiled in the Lok Sabha on 28th February. Vodafone's non-executive chairman Analjit Singh has been meeting the senior finance ministry officials over settlement of the tax dispute.
Meanwhile, the revenue department had issued a reminder notice to Vodafone asking it to clear the tax dues. The company, however, maintains that no taxes are payable and it had already replied to the reminded notice from the tax department.
The revenue department, it is learnt, will soon be sending its reply to the representation made by the Vodafone.
Last April, Vodafone had also threatened the Indian government with arbitration proceedings in its fight over the retrospective tax proposal.
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