Power of the DRP to enhance variations

Dispute Resolution Panel (DRP) had been constituted with a view to expeditiously resolve the cases involving transfer pricing issues in the case of any person having international transactions or in case of a foreign company. It has been provided under sub-section (8) of section 144C that DRP may confirm, reduce or enhance the variations proposed in the draft order of the Assessing Officer.

In a recent judgement, it was held that the power of DRP is restricted only to the issues raised in the draft assessment order and therefore it cannot enhance the variation proposed in the order as a result of any new issue which comes to the notice of the panel during the course of proceedings before it.

This is not in accordance with the legislative intent.

It is accordingly proposed to insert an Explanation in the provisions of section 144C to clarify that the power of the DRP to enhance the variation shall include and shall always be deemed to have included the power to consider any matter arising out of the assessment proceedings relating to the draft assessment order. This power to consider any issue would be irrespective of the fact whether such matter was raised by the eligible assessee or not.

This amendment will be effective retrospectively from the 1st day of April, 2009 and will accordingly apply to assessment year 2009-10 and subsequent assessment years.

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September 2021