GAAR panel to submit recommendations soon

The committee set up by the government to examine all issues related to the controversial General Anti Avoidance Rules (GAAR) is expected to submit its draft recommendations by August 31 and its report by September 30, its chief Parthasarathi Shome saidon Thursday.

"The draft of the recommendations pertaining to GAAR will be submitted by August 31.

Thereafter we will start the consultation process... I hope that by September 30 I will submit the official report," Shome told reporters here.

He, however, said the time-frame for its implementation was left to the policy makers.

Introduction of GAAR, proposed in the 2012-13 Budget to check tax evasion, had triggered strong opposition by foreign investors following which its implementation was postponed till April next year.

The Finance Ministry came out with draft guidelines on GAAR in June and had invited stakeholders comments. Later the Prime Minister set up an expert committee under Shome, a taxation expert, to hold fresh consultations on the controversial tax issue.

Shome said the PMO had also asked the panel to look at some additional issues of IFIs which had added a little bit of work. "But we have to work as hard as possible and my goal is really to complete the work by September 30," he said.

The consultation process was "very intensive" and the panel had already met some policy makers and interacted with several international and domestic tax-advisory firms, and a few concerned industrialists, he said.

Asked whether the panel was willing to consider the industry demand for grandfathering laws for investments, Shome said it will certainly consider the aspects that come within the purview at the time of reference.

On retrospective tax amendment after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expanded the scope of the panel, Shome said this was an issue concerning mainly foreign direct investment.

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