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Nothing vindictive about amending nation's tax laws: Mukherjee

New Delhi, Sun, 25 Mar 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Mar.25 (ANI): Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday said there was nothing vindictive about the government's proposed move to amend the Income Tax Act.

"I can assure the industry that there is no intention of opening a plethora of old cases on this plea or that plea because that is simply not permissible (under the laws)," Mukherjee said while replying to a question at CII meet.

Mukherjee said: "This amendment has been made not with any vindictive or with asserting any particular point of view. This is absolute requirement of the law. But at the same time, I shall have to protect myself. I am not holding my money. I am custodian of the money given by 120 crore people through taxation."

Mukherjee's proposal in the Budget to retrospectively amend the Income Tax Act with effect from April, 1962, to tax deals involving overseas companies that have interests in India, has generated criticism with some suggesting that it would impact investments into the country.

He said that while the Supreme Court is "ultimate interpreter of law... that does not take away the right of the legislators to express its intentions".

The move comes against the backdrop of the Supreme Court order that held that the USD 11 billion deal between British telecom giant Vodafone and Hong Kong based Hutchison's telecom business, involving India assets, was not liable to tax in this country.

The apex court rejected the IT department's demand for Rs 10,000 crore tax on the deal. (ANI)

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