India’s ‘Transparent Taxation’ charter — Highlights of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech

BI/BCCL
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s new tax charter promised to reduce government interference, bureaucratic discretion, increase the trust in the taxpayer and reward honest taxpayers.

“Every law, rule and regulation needs to be changed from being process and power centric approach to being people-centric and public friendly,” Modi said in his address. He went on to say that attempts are being made to make the process “painless, seamless, and faceless”, adding thrust on improving ease of doing business in the country.

“India is now one of the very few countries that vests so much respect and protection on taxpayers,” Modi said. However, this will come with the responsibility to become a taxpayer. Of the over 130 crore people in the country, less than 1.5 crore pay income tax, the Indian Prime Minister highlighted.

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These are the key highlights of Modi’s speech on Aug 13:

  • The tax department has to be cognizant of the taxpayer’s dignity.
  • Faceless assessment and taxpayer charter are applicable starting today.
  • Tax scrutiny can be assigned to any officer in any city in India to ensure that it doesn’t matter who the taxpayer is or who the assessor is. “The possibility of familiarity or influence will now be zero,” Modi said.
  • Even appeals will become ‘faceless’ starting September 25.
  • Policy driven governance that will minimise grey areas and reduce the need for discretion.
  • Applying technology to reduce the taxpayer's interface with officials.
  • The number of tax scrutinies has come down to a fourth in the last 8 years.

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