Rajya Sabha member NK Singh (JD-U) has asked finance minister Pranab Mukherjee to appoint an expert group on retrospective tax norms to suggest measures on how India can remain a preferred investment destination.
Singh said, "Before we embark on far reaching changes like the proposal to amend the income tax act with retrospective effect from 1962, the finance minister must ensure that there is a consistency in the domestic economic policy."
Participating in the discussions on the general budget in the Upper House, the RS member questioned Mukherjee's budgetary proposal of amending the income tax act with retrospective effect and section-H of the finance bill on General Anti-Avoidance Rules for vesting excessively intrusive powers in designated tax officials.
"This will fuel more uncertainty and doubts in the minds of investors and come in the way of scripting an investment-led growth strategy," he said.
Suggesting eight tangible actions to lend credibility to the budgetary announcements, Singh said the proposed amendment to the FRBM Act, the consequence of any failure to reach prescribed benchmarks should entail consequences for the central government as it does for the states.
Singh also demanded setting up of a national panel on amelioration of regional inequality to examine the real magnitude of the problem and suggest measures to redress growing regional backwardness in a transparent and expeditious manner.
"Apart from the continuation of the backward regions fund, there is nothing in the budget which is of interest for a disadvantaged state like Bihar," he said. "To bring the development expenditure of Bihar in line with the national average, a fiscal transfer of Rs 25, 000 crore per year is required for the state."