Two days before the commencement of the winter session of Parliament, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla will hold an all-party meeting on November 16. Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi will hold an all-party meeting on November 17. The meeting has been called so that the Parliament runs smoothly. The winter session of Parliament will start from November 18 and continue till December 13.
In this session, the Narendra Modi government is expected to take forward its legislative agenda that includes replacing two ordinances on -- corporate tax rate cuts and e-cigarettes and e-hookahs -- with bills. It will be the second session since Prime Minister Narendra Modi returned to the office with a bigger majority for a second successive term. The Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs has communicated the dates of the session to the secretariats of both houses of Parliament.
The government is likely to bring a bill to replace the Taxation Laws (Amendment) Ordinance 2019 on the corporate tax rate cuts. The government had also brought an ordinance to ban e-cigarettes and e-hookahs in the country. The opposition is likely to target the government on the issues it has been raising including "economic slowdown" and "job losses".
In a major fiscal booster, the government had slashed effective corporate tax to 25.17 per cent inclusive of all cess and surcharges for domestic companies. Making the announcement, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the new tax rate will be applicable from the current fiscal which began on April 1.
Sitharaman had said that the revenue foregone on reduction in corporate tax and other relief measures will be Rs. 1.45 lakh crore annually. This, she said is being done to promote investment and growth. In effect, the corporate tax rate will be 22% for domestic companies, if they do not avail any incentive or concession. The changes in the Income Tax Act and Finance Act will be made effective through an ordinance. The Minister also said that companies opting for a 22% income tax slab would not have to pay Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT). Sitharaman further said, new domestic manufacturing companies incorporated after October 1, can pay income tax at a rate of 15 per cent without any incentives. Meaning, the effective tax rate for new manufacturing companies will be 17.01 per cent inclusive of all surcharge and cess. Sitharaman further said that companies can opt for a lower tax rate after the expiry of tax holidays and concessions that they are availing now.
(With agency inputs)