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Panel set up on international taxation

New Delhi, May 3 - A 13-member panel was set up Thursday to advise on international taxation and transfer pricing in the backdrop of the controversial proposed retrospective amendments in income tax laws, officials said.

The panel will be headed by the revenue secretary to the central government. It has been constituted by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), the finance ministry said in a statement.

Other members of the group include chairman of CBDT, director general of international taxation in the income tax department and three joint secretaries from the ministry of finance.

The government is embroiled in several taxation issues at the international level. The most controversial is the Rs.11,000 crore ($2.2 billion) capital gains tax claim on British telecom operator Vodafone related to acquisition of Hutchison's stake in Hutchison-Essar in 2007.

After a long-drawn legal battle, the Supreme Court in January this year rejected the Income Tax department's claim on the deal saying Indian tax authorities do not have jurisdiction over overseas transactions.

Subsequently, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in the Union Budget for 2012-13 proposed to amend the regulations retrospectively to bring such deals under the tax net.

The panel, which will suggest to the government ways to reduce international tax litigation, also has representation from industry chambers.

Members of the newly-constituted group also include Som Mittal from Nasscom, P.Y. Gurav from the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Dinesh Kanabar from the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), and Ved Jain from the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham).

Mahesh P. Sarda from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), T.P. Ostwal from the International Fiscal Association, India, and Mukesh Butani from Indian Chamber of Commerce are also members of the group.


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