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‘Taxing Times’ Crusade Creates A Historic Impact

As FM Assures ‘No New Code Without Consensus!’

“DTC is not Bhagwat Gita

which cannot be changed”

 – Pranab Mukherjee in Lok Sabha

Nearly four months after releasing the draft ‘Direct Taxes Code’ (DTC) for public debate, the Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee gave clear indications in the Lok Sabha last Friday that the government was open to virtually rewriting a new code to make it acceptable to all stakeholders.

 “I do not have a closed mind. Whatever is being proposed in the draft DTC is not Bhagwat Gita, which cannot be changed. We will not impose any thing. If we find people do not accept some measures, we will not force upon them. We will try to evolve consensus before going ahead with the legislation” he remarked.

 The proposed date of implementation of DTC being 1st April, 2011 is thus bound to take a clear miss, effectively bringing a happy end for now to grave concerns of taxpayers in regard to several controversial proposals of the Code.

 Infact, some time ago Shri Arbind Modi, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and one of the main brain involved in the drafting of the DTC proposals was transferred out of the DTC task force, which gave strong indications that the FM himself was not happy with several proposals in the Code and was quite sensitive to the highly critical feedback generated in the public debates on DTC.  

 Since the draft Direct Taxes Code (DTC) was released on August 12, 2009 for public debate, TOI Ahmedabad and Taxing Times columnist Mukesh Patel launched an intense one month awareness campaign through ‘Cracking the Code’ featuring a series of ten analytical articles on areas of critical concerns affecting almost everyone, from the common man to corporates, capital market and charities. Mukesh Patel also addressed several meetings across the state and the country zealously articulating his points and creating strong public opinion.

 Readers’ response to ‘Cracking the Code’ was almost unprecedented! Hundreds of them sent in their critical feedback and suggestions via SMS, E-mail and on Blog to ‘My Times My Voice.’ A booklet compiling the articles and select readers’ responses was also prepared and sent to all MPs, bureaucrats and business leaders round the country for creating wider awakening.

 TOI Taxing Times takes deep satisfaction that its crusade has successfully created the desired impact, with the FM clearly signaling that no new direct tax legislation will be introduced without creating a consensus of all stakeholders!        Thank you dear readers for all your overwhelming support!

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