New Delhi: Senior Congress leader and former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram has asked the Union government to replace the Income Tax Act with the Direct Taxes Code.
Chidambaram suggested this during a debate on Finance Bill as well as the Appropriation Bill in the Rajya Sabha.
"I have helped draft a Direct Taxes Code when Pranab Mukherjee tried to improve it. When I returned to the Finance Ministry, I tried to improve it. There are three versions of the Direct Taxes Code. Many of the provisions will be outdated. So, get rid of all of them, but please bring a Direct Taxes Code immediately,'' he said.
The Congress leader also questioned the 39 Amendments in the Income Tax Act the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had moved to the 125 Clauses in the Amendment Bill. He said that the amendments year after year make things complicated.
Chidambaram presented the complexities the trusts and charities in the country are going through due to the new provisions and repeated amendments year after year after year. He also wanted the government to allow charities and trusts to function with a reasonable degree of independence and light regulation.
Chidambaram further called the concept of 'faceless assessment' introduced by the government a "regressive" move. The former finance minister said that many of the amendments that had been brought in were not only voluminous but also complex – a "minefield'' that would increase the hardships of the people.