The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) strongly criticizes the first statement made by the Finance Minister, P. Chidambaram, after assuming office. The measures announced are meant to help multinational companies non-payment of tax on assets they acquire in India and to facilitate tax avoidance by foreign and Indian corporates.
The Finance Minister has made his intention clear to reverse the retrospective effect in the tax law. This retrospective provision was in the Finance Bill which was adopted by Parliament. No change can now be made without the Parliament’s approval.
Reversing this measure means helping Vodafone to avoid paying a tax claim of Rs. 12,000 crore on acquisitions in India. Other step announced is to review the General Anti Avoidance Rules (GAAR) which was meant to plug the loopholes which enable tax avoidance by companies using the Mauritius route.
The Finance Minister has set out a neo-liberal package of measures which seeks to reverse the decisions taken by Parliament and his own government.
It is obnoxious to argue that in order to regain `investor confidence’, tax laws should be so amended as to violate principles of national justice in order to provide avenues for profit maximization at the expense of public revenue.
The Polit Bureau demands that the government implement the retrospective provision in the law and work out effective rules under the GAAR.