Govt sets up task force to draft new direct tax legislation

The Narendra Modi government has formed a task force to draft a new direct tax law to replace an archaic tax system that fails to address the current economic needs and discourages enterprise.

Coming after the overhaul of the country's divergent indirect tax system with the Goods and Services Tax (GST) the finance ministry is all set to revamp the direct tax system as well.

During the `Rajaswa Gyan Sangam' held on 1 and 2 September 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had observed that the Income-tax Act, 1961 was drafted more than 50 years ago and it needs to be re-drafted.

Accordingly, in order to review the Act and to draft new direct tax laws in consonance with economic needs of the country, the government has constituted a task force with chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) Arvind Modi as its convener.

Other members of the task force are: Girish Ahuja, practicing chartered accountant and non-official director of State Bank of India; Rajiv Memani, chairman and regional managing partner of E&Y; Mukesh Patel, practicing tax advocate, Ahmedabad; Mansi Kedia, consultant, ICRIER, New Delhi; and GC Srivastava, retired bureaucrat and advocate.

Arvind Subramanian, chief economic adviser (CEA) will be a permanent special invitee in the task force.

The task force has been tasked with drafting an appropriate direct tax legislation keeping in view the direct tax system prevalent in various countries, the international best practices, the economic needs of the country and any other matter connected thereto.

The task force will set its own procedures for regulating its work and submit its report to the government within six months.