Post budget discussions by CII to know the nitty gritties of tax structures

Ankur Bhattacharya ; Kolkata, 4 February : Multiple layers of deductions and exemptions in this year’s union budget has added to the complexity of the Income Tax Act even as the Finance minister made sincere efforts to further simplyfy the tax structures
This view was expressed here last night by Bishwanath Jha, IRS, Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, West Bengal and Sikkim during an interactive session on this year’s Union Budget proposals of Finance minister Nirmala Sitaraman. The session was jointly organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry(CII) and the PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Referring to the nitty gritties of the union budget proposals, Jha said as per the current statistics, about 70 per cent of tax payers had availed exemptions of less than Rs 2 Lakhs.’But If they shift optional tax slab, they will be more beneficial’, he said.
Talking of some of the ‘promising budget announcements’,Jhad spoken about abolishing of the Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT) which he felt was ‘skewed more towards the high band income earners’.
Tax Residency was one more announcement which would ensure that ‘no globetrotting individuals avoid paying taxes’ owing to the fact that they were not residents of any particular country, he said adding introduction of team based faceless tax assessments would undoubtedly convert total assessing system into a dynamic one.
Some other schemes which he highlighted were the introduction of TDS deduction by e-commerce platforms and 1 per cent TCS on foreign tour and remittance.’A New Tax Payers’ Charter if implemented can indeed be a game changer which will deal with tax harassment’, he added.
Also speaking on the occasion Professor Mritiunjoy Mohanty of Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta (IIMC) presented the ‘macroeconomic overview’ and emphasized that ‘for both investment as well as savings ratios, the bulk of the slowdown has been borne by the household (HH) sector’.
Out of the decline of 6.5 per cent in the investment ratio, over 5.5 per cent was borne by the HH investment whereas the savings ratio declined by more 4 per cent’, Mohanty said.
According to Mohanty, it was important to grow the investment-savings ratio to 34-37 per cent for the next 20 years to see substantial growth in the long run and improve the supply chain management.
Also participating in the discussion Arnab Basu, Managing Partner and Technology Consulting Leader of PricewaterhouseCoopers,said the significant impetus on agriculture, education and wellness in the Budget was very welcoming. ‘The budget has focused on rebuilding momentum and regaining people’s confidence’, he said.
CII Past Chairman and Managing Director, Patton International Limited Sanjay Budhia in his address said for an economy as complex as India, it was very important for all stakeholders to indulge in continuous dialogue to resolve issues on a regular basis than wait for the annual budget.
Also it was important to eradicate the trust deficit between government and industry and work in tandem with each other, Budhia said adding that the Union Budget was a very good effort on part of the government to inject money through various schemes and proposals.
Proposals of taking the export actions deep down the districts and turning them into export hubs were also very promising, he said.
Among others Kaushik Mukerjee, Co-Chairman, CII Eastern Region Economic Affairs and Taxation Subcommittee, Sushmita Basu, Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers Pallav Gupta, Head – Taxation, ITC Limited, and Bhaskar Banerjee, Chairman, Calcutta Stock Exchange participated in the meeting and expressed their sectoral analysis of the budget.