On Wednesday, the Union Cabinet approved the changes in the ‘Vivad se Vishwas Bill’ to cover litigations pending in various debt recovery tribunals and increase the scope of Direct Tax payment. The Direct Tax 'Vivad se Vishwas Bill' was introduced in the Lok Sabha on February 5. Additionally, the cabinet also approved Pesticide Management Bill 2020 and Major Ports Authority Bill.
The Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Prakash Javadekar stated that cases involving over nine lakh crores of direct taxes were pending in litigation. Similarly, the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman while announcing the union budget 2020 had said that 4.83 lakh direct tax cases were pending in various appellate forums - Commissioner (Appeals), ITAT, High Court and Supreme Court. She had said that the scheme, similar to the indirect tax ‘Sabka Vishwas scheme’ brought in the last budget, was being proposed for reducing litigations even in the direct taxes.
The changes in the new bill suggest that the taxpayers will have to only pay the disputed amount and the interest and penalty will be waived off. However, this will be possible only if the due is paid before March 31, 2020. Those who avail this scheme after March 31 will have to pay some additional amount.
The scheme would remain open till June 30, 2020. Taxpayers whose appeals are pending can benefit from this scheme. Also, the amended bill would allow certain cases of seizure and search with a stipulated recovery amount to avail the opportunity provided in the scheme.
This bill seeks to regulate the sale of pesticides and also helps in providing compensation to farmers in case of losses due to spurious pesticides. It also seeks to promote organic pesticides. The bill also seeks to advertise standards. Prakash Javadekar while speaking about this bill reiterated that the farmers would also get all information useful to them about pesticides.
The existing regulations governing the ports are derived from the 1963 law and the Major Ports Authority Bill 2020 will replace it. Asserting that there have been many changes in the way ports are operated since 1960, the Shipping Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said, the bill provides a dispute resolution mechanism. Also, it gives 12 major ports in the country more autonomy to make decisions.