This is a Budget with an eye on the future. Standout points are that the Authority for Advance Rulings being merged between income tax, central excise, customs and service tax will ensure certainty to foreign investors about all tax liabilities on transactions.
One would have liked to see incentives for start-ups, including zero tax for the first three years. What one would not have liked to see are discretionary powers being granted under search cases, like reasons not to be disclosed or certain powers of provisional attachments of assets of assesses, which can be used as extremities.
Overall though, the Budget is a reflection of a more defined fiscal regime in times to come and fewer litigations.
Dr Mitil Chokshi, senior partner, Chokshi & Chokshi