Major financial sector bills such as the Insurance Law Amendment Bill seeking to increase the FDI cap in private insurance firms and the Banking Regulation Amendment Bill to raise the voting rights of foreign entities in private sector banks are unlikely to be taken up in the Winter session of Parliament that begins tomorrow.
However, the Constitutional Amendment Bill seek to roll out Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the Direct Taxes Code Bill may be tabled in the session that ends on December 21. The government will reintroduce the Pension Reforms Bill which seeks to give statutory powers to the interim sectoral regulator PFRDA and open up the sector, Parliamentary Affairs Minister PK Bansal told.
He said the Banking Regulation Amendment Bill and the Insurance Law Amendment Bill are unlikely to come up for consideration in the Winter session as they are still with the respective standing committees. However, a Constitution amendment Bill is likely to be presented for launching GST that will replace most indirect taxes at Center and states level, sources said. The Bill seeks to empower the Centre to tax goods beyond the stage of manufacturing. At present, this is entrusted with states. The legislation will also empower states to tax services. The Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers has already come out with a discussion paper on the broad contours of GST which is scheduled to be implemented from the next fiscal.
Sources also said a separate Bill would be presented to replace the archaic Income Tax Act with the Direct Taxes Code. The Direct Taxes Code will replace Income Tax Act of 1961, but its draft has evoked sharp reaction for certain provisions like taxing withdrawals from long-term savings and minimum alternate tax. Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has assured a Parliamentary panel that concerns raised by corporates and other tax payers will be addressed before any further steps are taken on the Direct Taxes Code.