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CBDT to decide penalty for filing returns late, says Jaitley

New Delhi, Jul 25 (PTI): The government on Friday announced some concessions for mutual fund industry and income-tax payers, while committing to a low tax regime to promote industrial activity to generate jobs and create more resources to undertake social welfare activities.

Announcing the concessions in the Lok Sabha, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said high tax rate of 20 per cent on debt mutual funds would apply from July 10, the date of the presentation of the budget, and not from April 1, 2014 as proposed earlier.

In this regard, the Minister said he was accepting a suggestion made by Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia and some other members as it amounted to levying tax with retrospective effect for about three months.

The Lok Sabha later passed the Finance Bill, 2014, completing the budgetary exercise in the Lower House.

In order to provide some relief to the taxpayers filing returns late and paying penalty on daily basis, the minister said that the Central Board of Direct Taxes would be empowered to exercise discretion in this regard. He also expanded the scope of Settlement Commission to include cases where proceedings have already been initiated.        

The Minister rebuffed a member of his own party, Nishikant Dubey, for saying that “we will not be able to bring back black money from Switzerland in our lifetime.”

Jaitley said “we pray for his long life but we will not have to wait for long (to get back black money from abroad).”

Justifying his emphasis on having low tax regime and smooth tax system, the Minister said the government wants to revive the investor sentiment “which has been disturbed” and mop up additional resources to fund social welfare activities.

He said low tax regime would make Indian goods competitive and cited China as an example in this regard.