My beloved Members,

At the outset, I extend greetings and best wishes to all of you on the eve of New Year 2015!

For a long while as regards cutting the RBI Bank Repo rate Governor Raghuram Rajan and Union Finance Minister Mr. Arun Jaitley, were having different views due to their own perspective of the Indian Economy, especially in the context of inflation affecting the common man. However, RBI stunned the market on 15th January, 2015 on the auspicious occasion of ‘Makar Sankranti’ by cutting Repo rate from 8 per cent to 7.75 per cent, ahead of its February 3 policy review taking into consideration the Government’s commitment to adhering to its fiscal deficit target. Obviously, the white collar members of the society as well as traders and industrialist welcomed the above fast decision of the RBI which will boost the economy of the country. It is interesting to note here that ‘Care Ratings’ had forecast the said reduction on the ground of overall wholesale price index of inflation having been down at acceptable limits.

Meantime, Prof. Jagdish Bhagwati, an eminent international economist had stated thus: – “The Modi Government should overcome populist anti-reformers both politically and intellectually. Simultaneously, he lauded PM Narendra Modi for his right direction towards trade openness.”

Mr. Arvind Panagariya has taken charge of the ‘NITI AAYOG’ as Vice-Chairman, holding Cabinet rank, and stated in his personal capacity that a rethink on GST and Centre should try to first ‘straighten out’ central taxation. “Let us have proper value-added central sales tax on both goods and services. I think it will open the door a lot better for States to come on Board,” he said, conceding his view was different from the conventional one (source: ET, P 17, dated 8th January, 2015).

Meantime, Bishwajit Bhattacharya, a lawyer – PIL Petitioner has challenged the recently enacted law that granted Constitutional status to the ‘National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC)’ that would replace the collegium system of judges appointing judges. The PIL, inter alia reads : “such violence done to the basic structure of India’s Constitution is reminiscent of the dark days of emergency. The sanctity, chastity of the Constitution and its basic structure cannot be permitted to be defiled, defaced and demolished by the executive acting in conjunction with legislature in order to take over the function of the CJI and his senior colleagues to appoint and transfer Judges of HCs and the Supreme Court. That would destroy the doctrine of separation of power and the independence of the judiciaries.” So, let us await the decision on the PIL filed by the aforenamed petitioner.

I am pleased to share with you that the National Tax Conference 2014 held at Jaipur on 20th-21st December, 2014 was a great success inasmuch as over 900 delegates and invitees attended the said Conference. The hallmark of the Conference was, it being webcast live through internet and being watched across the world on a real time basis, apart from which it was live on twitter.

The next National Tax Conference is scheduled to be held at Darjeeling on 17th April, 2015. Members are requested to attend the same in large numbers and promote the cause of AIFTP to spread education in direct and indirect taxes.

With best wishes and regards,

J. D. Nankani

National President

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