Government seeks industry support to implement GAAR by 2017

New Delhi, March 3 (IANS) The government on Thursday sought Indian industry support to put in place the controversial General Anti-Avoidance Rules (GAAR) by 2017, saying its implementation is in their interest.

“GAAR implementation by the government ought to happen as scheduled as foreign institutional investors and such other portfolios have been escaping capital gains in one form or the other, keeping the domestic industry at disadvantage,” Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said at a post-budget interaction here.

“And, therefore, it (Indian industry) should come out openly in support of the government to implement it as scheduled”, he said.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his 2016-17 Budget has announced that GAAR will be implemented from April 2017, after last year, deferring its applicability by two years. GAAR had earlier become part of the law.

GAAR, which was proposed in the 2012-13 budget to prevent tax evasion, evoked sharp reactions from foreign as well as domestic investors who feared that the law could be misused by taxmen to harass investors.

On corporate tax reductions promised by Jaitley in last year’s budget proposals, Adhia said that even a one percent cut in corporate taxes would have meant a revenue loss of Rs.15,000 crore next fiscal, which the government could ill afford owing to the persisting global slowdown that has resulted in India’s exports being in continuous decline for over a year.

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