Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government does not believe in retrospective legislation.
“But since we have had one from the previous government assesses could not have assumed that a tax will come on a future date which will levy taxation from a back date.
Therefore, just charge the principle, it would not be fair to charge the interest or penalty and, therefore, on payment of principle if any assessee wants to settle back that’s an option which has been given,” Jaitley told the media here.
“I think each one of these moves is very clear…If the appellate orders are not implemented within 90 days then the refund we have increased the interest with the refunds and the officer in question will have to be made accountable for that,” he added.
The finance minister said that unfair assessments bring a bad name.
“They don’t bring us taxes because in a society governed by rule of law at some stage or the other an unfair tax will become unrealisable. And, therefore, I took the first measure last year that before we put the penal provisions of the Black Money Law into operation, we gave the people an option to declare, pay taxes and come out clean,” said Jaitley.
“Those who haven’t done it are certainly going to regret if they have assets abroad. This year as far as domestic black money is concerned…you have an option to come and declare it pay some penalty,” he added.
Stating that as far as all appeals are pending in any form of service tax, customs or excise or income tax, Jaitley said the government has given the second option of settlement of all the disputes.
“And the settlement terms are extremely fair that you pay the principle amount and the rest till the date of assessment,” he added when asked as to what measures does the government propose to prevent litigation from taking place and how does the government ensure that the dispute resolution panel is fair and objective.
Presenting the General Budget 2016-17 in Lok Sabha on February 29, Jaitley said that litigation is a scourge for tax friendly regime and creates an environment of distrust.
“Litigation also leads to increasing the compliance cost of the tax payers and administrative cost for the government. There are three lakh tax cases pending with the first Appellate Authority with disputed amount being 5.5 lakh crores. In order to reduce this number, a new dispute Resolution Scheme (DRS) is launched,” he said.