The Shome committee would prepare fresh norms on the controversial tax provision to bring "greater clarity" and prepare a roadmap by 30th September for the implementation of GAAR
New Delhi: Within a fortnight of the Finance Ministry issuing draft guidelines on General Anti-Avoidance Rules or GAAR, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday set up a committee to prepare fresh norms on the controversial tax provision to bring "greater clarity" and prepare a roadmap by 30th September for its implementation, reports PTI.
The four-member committee, to be headed by ICRIER chief and taxation expert Parthasarathi Shome, will submit its report after consulting and taking feedback from stakeholders.
"The Prime Minister has approved the constitution of an Expert Committee on GAAR to undertake stakeholder consultations and finalise the guidelines for GAAR," a PMO statement said.
"This committee would manage the consultation process and finalise the draft GAAR Guidelines," it said.
The setting up of the committee to hold wider consulations on the controversial tax provision comes within a fortnight of the Finance Ministry issuing draft guidelines.
However, the Prime Minister, who holds the Finance portfolio, was quick to distance himself from it, saying that he had not approved these.
Introduction of GAAR, which was proposed by then Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in the Budget 2012-13 to check tax evasion, had triggered outrage by foreign investors following which its implementation was postponed till April next year.
"There is a need to have greater clarity on many other fronts. With this in view, the Prime Minister has constituted this Expert Committee which will bring transparency and a high degree of technical expertise to the consultation process," the PMO statement said.
"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," is said.
The committee will have N Rangachary, former Chairman of Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority, Ajay Shah, Professor at economic think-tank NIPFP and Sunil Gupta, Joint Secretary, Revenue Department, as members.
The Committee's Terms of Reference include receiving comments from stakeholders and general public on the draft guidelines already published by the government on its website.
The committee will also "vet and rework" the guidelines based on this feedback and publish the second draft for comments and consultations by 31st August, the statement said.
The Terms of Referencw will also include undertaking widespread consultations on the second draft GAAR guidelines and finalising these and a roadmap for implementation.
The report will be submitted to the government.
A schedule has been laid for the committee which includes receiving comments from stakeholders and general public till July-end. The guidelines are to be finalised, a roadmap for implementation prepared and submitted to the government by 30th September.
Referring to previous steps taken on GAAR, the statement said the Revenue Department undertook some consultations with stakeholders before finalising the first draft set of guidelines. These consultations were done by invitation.
"Subsequently, at PM's behest, D/o Revenue put the draft guidelines on the web. This was widely welcomed as it lifted the veil on the GAAR Guidelines," it said.
This assumes significance as the PMO had issued a statement on 30th June, within 12 hours of the first draft guidelines being put on the website, saying that Singh, holding the Finance portfolio, had not approved those.
"These (draft guidelines) have not been seen by the Prime Minister and will be finalised with the approval of the Prime Minister, who holds the Finance portfolio, only after considering the feedback received," a PMO release had said.
In today's statement, the PMO said, "while these steps are good in themselves, a need was felt for far more widespread consultations."
Unani, homeopathy and others doctors should study pharmacology for a full year course and after clearing the exams, they will be allowed to practice alopathy in Maharashtra
Mumbai: Maharashtra government on Friday told the Legislative Assembly that doctors wanting to practice allopathy should study pharmacology subject and an ordinance to this effect will be promulgated next month, reports PTI.
Replying to a calling attention notice on the issue of demand of homeopathic doctors to practice allopathy since there is shortage of allopathic doctors in rural areas, state Medical Education Minister Vijay Kumar Gavit said it was not possible legally to allow medicos to practice a medicine which they have not studied.
"Unani, homeopathy and others doctors wishing to practice allopathy should study pharmacology. It will be a full course of one year and they will be allowed to practice only after they clear the examination," the minister said.
Accordingly, Maharashtra Medical Practitioners Act, 1961 will be amended.
He said the Homeopathy Council in Delhi has been requested to include the subject of pharmacology in the homeopathy curriculum.
Nana Patole, Kushal Bopche, Sanjay Kute (all BJP) said ayurvedic doctors are allowed to practice allopathy in primary health care centres, to which the minister said there is an optional subject of pharmacology in ayurvedic syllabus.
"Those who have studied pharmacology can practice allopathy," he said.
BJP legislator Girish Mahajan said there is an acute shortage of allopathic doctors in rural areas.
Vijay Waddetiwar (Cong) said homeopathic doctors in rural areas treat patients in remote areas and save lives but still have to face legal problems because they are not allowed to practice allopathy.
New Delhi: In order to boost the National Pension Scheme (NPS), the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) has relaxed norms for registration of pension fund managers to ensure greater competition by removing cap on the number of Pension Fund Managers (PFMs), reports PTI.
As per the revised guidelines, PFMs would have to market the NPS to the potential subscribers, deciding their own marketing and distribution channels as per their business perceptions, Finance Ministry said in a statement.
The new norms issued by PFRDA on the basis of the recommendation by GN Bajpai Committee, has done away with the bidding process for appointment of fund managers.
It has laid down the eligibility criteria for PFMs and also removed the limitation on the number of fund managers for for managing the retirement corpus under non-government and private sector segment. Henceforth, any eligible company can undertake the business of fund management under the NPS.
Under the revised norms, PFMs have been given freedom to fix their own fees.
"It is expected that this would provide for an economically viable business model for the PFMs attracting a fresh set of entrants into the pension industry, and the resultant competition would ensure market driven fee structures, which would work to the advantage of the pension subscribers," the statement said.