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Centre Takes Firm Step to Shed Off Excess Baggage of Litigations

It has been uploaded on the website of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC)

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The FAQs attempt to sort out innate issues associated with the legacy disputes, answering, for example, who is eligible to file declaration and the list of acts covered under the scheme. Pixabay

Building a roadmap for the economy, the Centre has taken a firm step to shed off the excess baggage of litigations, a vital factor slowing down growth.

The Centre has rolled out a set of 43 frequently asked questions (FAQs) connected with the ‘Sabka Vishwas Scheme’ (Legacy Dispute Resolution), 2019, a step largely towards simplifying a scheme directly linked to creating a favourable atmosphere enabling ease of doing business.

The FAQs attempt to sort out innate issues associated with the legacy disputes, answering, for example, who is eligible to file declaration and the list of acts covered under the scheme.

It has been uploaded on the website of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC).

Centre, Baggage, Litigation
Building a roadmap for the economy, the Centre has taken a firm step to shed off the excess baggage of litigations, a vital factor slowing down growth. Pixabay

A majority of questions under FAQs dwell on the eligibility of persons and the nature of dispute resolution falling under Service Tax and Central Excise.

Persons who are eligible under the scheme will be required to file an electronic declaration at the CBIC portal, and within 60 days of filing of declaration, an electronic response on the final decision taken in the matter, will be communicated to the person concerned.

The scheme focuses on three crucial aspects – optimize resources of the industry, avoid litigation pending for a long period of time, and give an opportunity to taxpayers to settle their matter concerning service tax and central excise.

The FAQ informs the taxpayer that once the amount is finalized through this scheme, then it is final, and the matter will be closed and also shielded from any other proceeding.

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Therefore, this scheme virtually takes cares of retrospective aspect of taxation, which often worry the taxpayer.

According to the scheme, any show cause notice (SCN) whether main or periodical, issued and where the final hearing has not taken place on or before June 30, 2019, is eligible under the scheme.

There are various benefits available under the scheme — total waiver of interest, penalty and fine in all cases, immunity from prosecution, in pending cases a relief of 70 per cent from the duty demand if it is Rs 50 lakh or less and 50 per cent, if it is more than Rs 50 lakh.

The same relief is available for cases under investigation and audit where the duty involved is quantified on or before June 30, 2019.

Centre, Baggage, Litigation
The Centre has rolled out a set of 43 frequently asked questions (FAQs) connected with the ‘Sabka Vishwas Scheme’ (Legacy Dispute Resolution), 2019, a step largely towards simplifying a scheme directly linked. Pixabay

Taxpayers will get a discharge certificate, which will be issued under Section 127 with respect to the amount payable under the scheme and shall be conclusive as to the matter and time period declared.

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As a result — (a) the declarant shall not be liable to pay any further duty, interest or penalty with respect to the matter and time period covered in the declaration; (b) the declarant shall not be liable to be prosecuted under the indirect tax enactment with respect to the matter and time period covered in the declaration; and (c) no matter and time period covered by such declaration shall be reopened in any other proceeding under the indirect tax enactment. (IANS)

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Another Deadline Missed, No Draft Scheme on the Cauvery Dispute Till Now

On the expiry of the six-week deadline, the Centre sought extension of time till the completion of the electoral process in Karnata for submission of the Scheme.

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The apex court directed the company to furnish details on how it intends to arrange Rs 5,112 crore. Wikimedia Commons
The apex court directed the company to furnish details on how it intends to arrange Rs 5,112 crore. Wikimedia Commons

The Centre yet again failed to submit a draft Scheme on the Cauvery river water dispute before the Supreme Court on the ground that the Prime Minister and other ministers were campaigning in Karnataka, which Tamil Nadu flayed as “brazen partisanship”.

Seeking 10 more days to finalize the scheme, Attorney General K.K. Venugopal told Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud: “A draft scheme has been placed before the Cabinet. Because of Karnataka elections, the Prime Minister and all other Ministers are in Karnataka. Before that the Prime Minister was abroad (in China).”

It also sought response from the Centre on the steps taken by it since the pronouncing of the judgement for putting in place a scheme for implementing its order on the sharing of Cauvery water among Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry.
Parliament of India, wikimedia commons

The Centre’s submission was countered strongly by senior counsel Shekhar Naphade, appearing for Tamil Nadu, who said: “Sorry to say, the Central government is politicizing the issue. They are worried about their electoral fate in Karnataka. Election in Karnataka is on May 12 and somehow they don’t want to do it till then. We have enough of it. It is brazen partisanship of the Union of India. It is the end of co-operative federalism.”

The apex court in its February 16 judgement had directed the Centre to frame a Scheme within six months in accordance with the recommendation by the Cauvery River Water Tribunal for constitution of the Cauvery Management Board (CMB) and Cauvery Regulatory Authority (CRA), which Karnataka opposes strongly.

On the expiry of the six-week deadline, the Centre sought extension of time till the completion of the electoral process in Karnata for submission of the Scheme. Tamil Nadu filed a contempt petition against the Centre for failure to act within the deadline.

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During Thursday’s hearing, the court directed the Karnataka government to respond on how much of the four TMC of water it can release by month end. It also sought response from the Centre on the steps taken by it since the pronouncing of the judgement for putting in place a scheme for implementing its order on the sharing of Cauvery water among Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry.

In the course of the hearing, the court asked Karnataka to release 4 TMC of water by Monday.

The court said that even if the Centre has not framed the scheme, Karnataka, under the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal award, was obliged to make monthly releases to Tamil Nadu.

The court directed the next hearing of the matter on Tuesday. (IANS)