Finance minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said that the government will take a final call on the implementation of the general anti-avoidance rules (GAAR) after the completion of the Budget process.
The Union Budget 2014-15 has remained silent on the issue of the controversial tax provision that was introduced in 2012 to check companies routing money through tax havens such as Mauritius. Its implementation was however deferred after concerns by investors — first to April 2014 and then to April 2015.
Responding to the debate on the Finance Bill, 2014, in the Rajya Sabha, the finance minister also expressed some confidence over a pick up in the monsoons and said that “the situation is a little more optimistic”.
He assured the House that the government would respond to needs of any drought affected areas. “The government has set guidelines.. those back up plans will be set into action,” he stressed.
The minister’s comments come at a time when the El Nino threat to the monsoons have been downgraded and the Indian Meteorological Department has said that the monsoons would remain strong till August 15.
Meanwhile, Jaitley who chose to respond in a short speech of about five to seven minutes also assured members that state specific demands that have not been addressed in the Budget would be taken up by the Finance Commission, which is expected to submit its report later this year.
Following the discussions and Jaitley’s reply, the Rajya Sabha cleared the Finance Bill and the Budget 2014-15.