Tax laws bad, but not cumbersome: Chidambaram

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Delhi, Apr 30 (UNI) Are India's direct tax laws too voluminous and cumbersome as compared to other countries? Mr Praveen Rashtrapal, a Congress member of the Rajya Sabha, thinks it is. But Finance Minister P. Chidambaram disagrees, saying it is only a 'myth'.

During a discussion in the Rajya Sabha on the Finance Bill, Mr Rashtrapal said the tax return form in the US comprised a single page and its laws were not voluminous.

Mr Chidambaram, who was all ears to the member's submission in the House, rose on his feet and said, ''These are only myths that are being spread.'' Conceding that ''our tax laws are bad'', the Finance Minister said the US tax code comprised 9,553 pages, the Canadian laws ran into over 9,000 pages and in Australia, it was more than 1800 pages.

But in India, there were 298 sections dealing with direct taxes and the total number of pages were 938 with footnotes, he pointed out.

''Ours (tax laws) are bad enough, I agree'', but it was wrong to say that they were lengthier when compared to other countries, he quipped.


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