Bills on GST, direct tax code likely in winter session

Bills on GST, direct tax code likely in winter session

New Delhi: Several important economic Bills that will pave way for introduction of Goods and Services Tax, Direct Taxes Code and empower the Reserve Bank to supercede erring boards of private sector banks are likely to be tabled in the winter session of the Parliament.

Other bills likely to come up in the Winter Session, beginning 19 November, include a legislation for increasing voting powers of foreign entities who have stake in private sector banks from ten per cent, official sources said.

A legislation to amend the Sebi Act to revise upper age limit of the members of appellate tribunal SAT, pension reforms bill, a bill to empower RBI to inspect associate entities of banks, are also expected, they said.

Thirteenth action taken report on Ketan Parekh scam is also likely to be introduced in Parliament in the forthcoming session, the sources added.

With just over four months left for the scheduled date of implementation of GST, a bill amending the Constitution may be presented to launch the new indirect tax system that will create a uniform market for goods and services.

It will empower the Centre to tax goods beyond manufacturing stage. At present, the power to tax is entrusted with states. The bill will also empower states to tax services.

The sources said a separate bill would also be presented to replace the archaic Income Tax Act with the Direct Taxes Code. DTC is likely to be implemented from 2011-12.

While GST is scheduled to be introduced from 1 April, 2010, some states like Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat have been saying that implementation should be delayed as there are a host of issues to be resolved.

Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee also said he would not be surprised if there is a slippage by a few months.

Empowered Group of state finance ministers, which has been dealing with the Centre on GST, has already constituted working groups to suggest constitutional amendments and Model GST Act.

Direct Taxes Code will replace Income Tax Act of 1961, but its draft has evoked sharp reactions on certain provisions like taxing withdrawal from long term savings and minimum alternate tax.

The finance minister has assured a parliamentary panel that concerns raised by corporates and other tax payers will be addressed before any further steps are taken on direct taxes code.

As far as an amendment to Banking Regulations Act to empower RBI to supercede board of banks is concerned, the Centre has the power to fire the board of directors of PSU banks since it is the single largest stakeholder.

However, the RBI has no such right when it comes to other banking entities.

To provide more power to RBI to deal with erring boards, the bill seeks to confer RBI with similar powers to deal with private sector and co-operative banks.