Justice AP Shah heads high-level committee to review MAT

The government today announced the constitution of a high-level committee to examine matters related to the applicability of minimum alternate tax (MAT) on foreign institutional investors investing in Indian stock markets.

The high level committee (HLC) headed by Justice AP Shah will examine the matter relating to levy of MAT on FIIs for the period prior to 1 April 2015 among others. The committee has been asked to give its recommendations on the issue expeditiously.

Finance minister Arun Jaitley, while responding to the discussions on the Finance Bill in the Rajya Sabha on 7 May 2015, had announced the constitution of a committee headed by Justice AP Shah, former Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court and currently chairman of Law Commission of India, to look into the issue of MAT on FIIs as well as other issues, which are referred to it.

Other members of the committee include Girish Ahuja (chartered accountant and formerly associate professor of commerce at Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi) and Ashok Lahiri (formerly chief economic adviser and executive director, ADB and currently chairman of high level committee to interact with trade and industry on tax laws).

To begin with, the committee will examine matters relating to levy of MAT on FIIs for the period prior to 1 April 2015. Subsequently, it will examine all related legal provisions, judicial / quasi judicial pronouncements and such other relevant aspects as it may consider appropriate.

As initially the committee would focus on the issue of MAT on FIIs for giving its report expeditiously, other issues to be referred to it will be notified in due course. The committee may interact with various stakeholders as it may deem fit. It may also invite officers from the department of revenue, including CBDT, for consultations/discussions as may be necessary.

The committee will set its own procedure for regulating its work. The term of the committee will be for one year or such period as may be notified by the government from time to time.