New Delhi, March 3 (PTI): A number of non-legislative decisions covering customs, excise, service tax, insurance and banking to promote growth will be announced in Parliament before the passage of the finance bill.
Finance minister P. Chidambaram today said the budget presented by him focussed on the legislative areas and the broad agenda. The government is now working on non-legislative decisions.
These decisions will involve customs, excise, service tax, insurance and banking, he said, adding “more announcements will be made and more decisions will be taken”, during the reply to the debate in Parliament on the finance bill.
Hopeful of securing BJP’s backing to key financial sector legislation, the finance minister today expressed confidence that the insurance and pension bills would be passed in the budget session of Parliament. “I am reasonably confident that we would be able to pass the insurance and the pension bill in the current session,” he said.
“We are having consultations with the BJP, and then we will have it with other parties.”
Seeking to assuage investors’ fear, Chidambaram said the status quo on taxation of investment from Mauritius would continue till the renegotiation of the double taxation avoidance agreement.
“We will not do anything unilaterally involving two countries. Domestic law will apply where domestic law applies. The treaty will apply where treaty applies,” he said.
On the Vodafone tax dispute, he said the government aimed to resolve the issue and would take a view by appointing a conciliator. “I have told Vodafone that I want a resolution. I told them if you want resolution then make an offer. I want this to be put behind us and move on,” he said.
The cabinet will decide on whether to accept Vodafone’s proposal for a conciliation.
Explaining the nuances, Chidambaram said, “Conciliation as opposed to arbitration is non binding. But that’s a well accepted method of resolving disputes. Conciliators will offer various solutions and two sides will be persuaded to agree upon any solution,” he said.
Vodafone is facing Rs 11,217-crore tax liability for the purchase of Hong Kong-based Hutchison Whampoa’s stake in Hutchison Essar in 2007