ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles By Sukumar Mukhopadhyay

General Anti-Avoidance Rule in Income Tax Law

The fierce opposition to the General Anti-Avoidance Rule proposed in the Union Budget for 2011-12 was mainly because it shifted the burden of proof to the taxpayer and because tax offi cials were perceived to have been granted too much discretionary power. Backing down, the finance minister subsequently announced amendments to address these issues and the provisions are to apply from 1 April 2014, a year later than originally proposed.

Power of Supreme Court to Intervene in Executive Policy

The central government has filed a review petition against the Supreme Court judgment in the black money case on the ground that the ruling interferes with the domain of the executive. In the past, the courts have on occasion abstained from ruling on economic or fiscal policies of the government. At other times they have abstained if they felt the policies were made in public interest. On yet other occasions they have passed judgments when they have felt that the concerned economic policies have impinged on fundamental rights. If the current review petition is admitted and goes before a seven- or nine-member bench, the ruling will be greatly anticipated.

Which Way for Indirect Taxes?

Reforms of indirect taxes in the budget amount to almost nothing. Customs tariffs have remained about the same while the number of exemptions have increased. In the case of CENVAT, rules remain complicated and the claim that rates have gravitated towards 16 per cent is not true. Service tax needs to be aligned with CENVAT to create a goods and services tax at the central level. Two parallel GSTs at the state and central levels, rather than a national GST, must be introduced.