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Home / India News / Govt widens scope of Vivad Se Vishwas bill

Govt widens scope of Vivad Se Vishwas bill

The cabinet decided to move amendments to the Direct Tax Vivad se Vishwas Bill, 2020 tabled in Parliament last week, in response to suggestions received during finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s post-budget consultations with industry, Union minister Prakash Javadekar said at a press briefing.

india Updated: Feb 13, 2020 03:14 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Nirmala Sitharaman
Nirmala Sitharaman(Mint file photo)

The government on Wednesday decided to broaden the scope of the direct tax dispute resolution scheme, Vivad Se Vishwas (no dispute but trust), seeking to unlock a larger part of the estimated Rs 9 lakh crore stuck in litigation at various forums.

The cabinet decided to move amendments to the Direct Tax Vivad se Vishwas Bill, 2020 tabled in Parliament last week, in response to suggestions received during finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s post-budget consultations with industry, Union minister Prakash Javadekar said at a press briefing.

“After the Union budget, the finance minister discussed with stakeholders and got suggestions from them. On the basis of these, there are new amendments to be moved in this session of Parliament,” said Javadekar.

The minister said the amendments will allow the scheme to cover cases in which searches and seizures have taken place and where the recovery of money was below Rs 5 crores. The minister expressed the hope that many taxpayers will take advantage of the scheme and settle disputes.

Sitharaman announced the scheme in her budget speech on February 1. It offers waivers of penalty and interest if the disputed amount is paid before March 31, 2020. As of 30 November, 2019, around 500,000 direct tax disputes were pending at various forums with disputed tax arrears amounting to some Rs 9 lakh crore, HT reported earlier this month.

On Wednesday, the Union cabinet approved a bill aimed at regulating the pesticides business and compensating farmers in case of losses from the use of spurious agro-chemicals. The proposed legislation will be introduced in the Budget session of Parliament, the government said.

The Pesticides Management Bill, 2020, seeks to replace the Insecticides Act, 1968, for regulating the pesticide sector by fixing prices and setting up an authority to oversee it. It would also regulate advertisements of pesticides and provides for heavy penalties as well as jail terms for any violation of the law.

“As far as farmers are concerned, Pesticides Management Bill, 2020 will be introduced in this session of Parliament. Today, pesticide business is regulated by 1968 rules which have become age-old and need rewriting,” Javadekar, the information and broadcasting minister, said.

In another key decision, the cabinet approved a bill that aims to provide autonomy to India’s top 12 ports and improve their efficiency and competitiveness.

“The Union cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved Major Port Authority Bill, 2020 to replace existing Major Port Trust Act. It will provide more operational autonomy to ports. The Bill will be introduced in ensuing session of Parliament,” shipping minister Mansukh Lal Mandaviya said.