Wish you all a very happy Financial Year 2022-23. We all celebrated on 2nd April 2022 New Year’s Day as per “Hindu” calendar in several parts the country and remaining parts are celebrating it when I am writing this editorial. We all should be proud be of the diverse culture of our country which makes life colorful and makes celebration a 24/7 affair.
Hon’ble Bombay High Court has also confirmed the view taken by the Hon’ble Allahabad High Court, Delhi High Court and Rajasthan High Court and quashed the notices issued under section 148(1) of the Income tax Act,1961 (Hereinafter referred to as ‘the Act’) post 1st April, 2021 without following the procedure prescribed under section 148A the Act. The executive to overcome these decisions, has again tinkered with the provision of section 149 of the Act through Finance Act, 2022. This important topic is covered by Adv. Dharan Gandhi in his article which is part of this issue of the journal. As mentioned in my earlier editorial, the policy statement made by the Hon’ble Finance Minister, while introducing the Finance Bill, 2021 is substantially diluted with amendments introduced to section 149 of the Act through the Finance Act, 2022. The time limits to reopen an assessment which has reached finality has not been restricted to 3 years it has now been extended to 10 years. The statutory provisions, as the stand today, are bound to generate litigation.
The Russia-Ukraine war is causing economic hardship globally. When the world was slowly limping back to normal economic activity. The Russia’s aggression over Ukraine has pushed back the global economy into crisis. This is taking a huge toll on the smaller economies like Sri Lanka, Nepal etc. It is going to have an impact on our economy as well. The inflation is hurting the vulnarable sections of the society. It is the right time for the Union Government to consider to slash the GST rates on those items which effect the prices of essential comodities. As per figures made available by the Finance Ministry the direct tax collections have surpassed the target in the fiscal year 2021-22. The estimate made at Rs. 12.50 lakh crores( inclusive of corporate as well as personal income tax) was surpassed by actual collections at Rs. 13.63 lakh crores, which is 9.04% more than the target. This trend can be maintained if the rationalization of GST rates takes place. I am concsious of the fact that this has to be carried out through GST Council. At least this proposal should be considered in the fourth coming Council meeting.
The prevailing conditions do present uncertainties, but, the same will not be enough to put out the flame of hope. “Uncertainty, in the presence of vivid hopes and fears, is painful, but must be endured if we wish to live without the support of comforting fairy tales. It is not good either to forget the questions that philosophy asks, or to perusade ourselves that we have found indubitable answer to them. To teach men how to live without certainty, and yet without being paralyzed by hesitation, is perhaps the chief thing that philosophy, in our age, can still do for those who study it. Bertrand Russell in Introduction, the History of Western Philosophy.
In the present issue of the journal we are providing articles on several issues which are important and relevant for day to day practice. I thank all the esteemed professionals for taking out their valuable time to contribute to the AIFTP- Journal’s April, 2022 issue.