A task force set up under the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) to draft a new direct tax law and replace the existing Income Tax Act has been given a three-month extension till May, an official order said. The current term of the task force expired on February 28 and the panel under Central Board of Direct Taxes member Akhilesh Ranjan had sought an extension citing operational reasons and requirements to firm up a final report.
"The term of the task force is extended by three months... The task force shall now be required to submit its report by May 31, 2019," read a CBDT order issued on Thursday.
It said the extension in the term of the task force was approved by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. The order also stated that Pragya Sahay Saxena, a joint secretary in the CBDT, has also been co-opted as a member of the task force.
The other members of the task force include Girish Ahuja (chartered accountant), Rajiv Memani (chairman and regional managing partner of EY India), Mukesh Patel (practising tax advocate), Mansi Kedia (consultant, ICRIER) and GC Srivastava (retired IRS and Advocate).
It was first set up in November 2017 under the Central Board of Direct Taxes, which frames the policy for the Income Tax Department. The CBDT functions under the Ministry of Finance.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had observed during the annual conference of tax officers in September 2017 that the Income Tax Act, 1961 was more than 50 years ago and needed to be redrafted.
The task force was assigned to draft direct tax laws in line with norms prevalent in other countries, incorporating international best practices, and keeping in mind the economic needs of the country and related matters.