High-level panel on past tax issues planned: Jaitley

London : The Indian government plans to set up a high-level committee to sort out taxation issues of the past and make the system predictable, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced on Monday.

“I am considering a high-level committee to explore what can be done to resolve the past and move beyond it in a way that would provide real predictability and certainty to investors,” he wrote in an opinion piece in the Financial Times.

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“Even though it is only the legacy issues that haunt us, we recognise that we must put a quick end to them,” he added.

Jaitley said this “committee will be instructed to report back expeditiously so that early actions can be taken. We have fashioned tax policies for the 21st century. Our tax administration cannot afford to lag behind. We will not let it”.

Explaining the move to levy minimum alternate tax (MAT) on foreign portfolio investors, he said the decision was taken by quasi-judicial bodies, which were created well before the present government came to power to reassure investors that the tax system would be free of political interference.

Meanwhile, clarifying that the government does not intend to tax retrospectively, Jaitley on Monday reiterated here that the taxation policy has to be “non-adversarial” so as to encourage foreign investments.

“Our taxation process has to be simpler to increase tax buoyancy. Our taxation policy has to be non-adversarial. The government does not intend to tax people retrospectively,” Jaitley said delivering the D.P. Kohli Memorial Lecture in New Delhi.