Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 30

Maintaining a balance among officers of the UT and states, UT Administrator Kaptan Singh Solanki today assigned the charge of various departments.

Sources said while making reshuffle, Parimal Rai, Adviser to the Administrator, focused on some areas such as health, education and transport that have been given to the senior and experienced officers.

The Excise and Taxation Department and the Labour Department have returned to Ajit Balaji Joshi, Deputy Commissioner, while Amit Talwar, PCS, will be Additional Deputy Commissioner and Land Acquisition Officer. He will also hold the charges of Additional Secretary, Urban Planning, Divisional Manager, CTU, and Director Transport-cum-(ex-officio) Additional Secretary Transport, Registering and Licensing Authority.

Parimal Rai, Adviser to the Administrator, will also hold the charge of Chief Vigilance Officer.

KK Jindal, who joined recently, has been given the charges of Secretary Personnel/Vigilance, Labour, Employment, Hospitality, Industries, Technical Education and Secretary Transport.

Jitender Yadav has been given the charges of Director Higher Education and Secretary, House Allotment Committee (Lower).

Prince Dhawan has been retained and will hold his earlier departments. Kriti Garg, SDM South, will also hold the charge of Joint Chief Electoral Officer and Director, Museum and Art Gallery.

The charge of SDM East has been assigned to Bhupesh Chaudhary in addition to his own duties.

Some more departments such as Public Relations, Environment Science and Technology have been added to the Home Secretary, which increase his departments' number to 17, while the number of the Finance Secretary departments has remained 11.

Pakistan and Afghanistan on Wednesday completed first round of talks on the convention of avoidance of double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion and mutually agreed on the initial draft of the convention. Sources told the Business Recorder on Wednesday that the negotiations between Afghan and Pakistani tax authorities were held from March 28 to 30, at the FBR House. Agreed draft has been initiated by the heads of the delegations and any disputed issues would be mutually resolved in the second round of negotiations.

It is a big development to facilitate business community of both the countries under the proposed convention of avoidance of double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion. A six-member Afghan delegation met tax authorities of Pakistan to negotiate signing convention on the avoidance of double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Afghan delegation consisted of senior tax officials.

The Afghan delegation also visited FBR headquarters to complete the scheduled talks. The FBRs tax authorities also met their counterparts from Afghanistan to facilitate citizens of the two countries. Sources said that at present there was no convention signed between Pakistan and Afghanistan on the said issue. Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA) was already inked between the two countries. The business community of both sides will benefit from the convention on avoidance of double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion between the two countries.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2016

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Taxation is theft. If you have many friends ranging from tea party to anarchist, you have likely seen one or more memes in your social media feed with that message. Some prove more clever than others. Many are just obnoxious, like the one crafted for Easter that used the crosses of Calvary as the ts in taxation is theft. For reasons not immediately clear, these posts have spiked in popularity.

The underlying message proves true. Taxes are collected under coercion, rather than earned through trade or persuasion. If you fail to pay your taxes, men with guns will eventually be sent to arrest you. If you resist that arrest, they may legally use those guns to shoot and kill you. Its something we dont typically pause to think about in our day-to-day lives. When we do, we often discount the coercive nature of taxation with rationalizations about the greater good or public interest. Memes stating that taxation is theft thus confront us with a provocative truth.

That said, now what? Youve got my attention with your meme. Youve convinced me that taxation is theft. Now what am I supposed to do?

This is the problem with much of what passes for activism among the insurgent right. Too much of it amounts to little more than snark with no practical application or call to action. Whats the plan? Are we going to abolish taxes? Are we going to disband the state? Lets say we get a nice little coalition united around those goals. What then? Is there a clear path from here to there, or are we going to Tyler Durden this thing?

Short of violent revolution, which would undoubtedly result in consequences far worse than taxation, the path to less government involves incremental change. But a sentiment like "taxation is theft" does not allow for incremental change. It sets one improbable goal and offers no stepping stones to reach it.

Thats the fundamental flaw of anarchism, the political ideology which claims taxation is theft as its motto. It addresses the faults in a solution without addressing the original problem. Sure, if there was no state to tax you, you could keep all your money, but only until the first gang of thugs came along to take it from you. Would that truly be better? Anarchism seeks to liberate us from coercive taxation, but would leave us enslaved to any other random form of coercion.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday said the Indian government has resolved various legacy issues with regard to taxation and is gradually working to bring down the corporate tax rates to the global level at 25 per cent from 30 per cent currently.

Speaking on the theme of Reimagining the Indian economy at the SP Jain Institute of Global Management here, Jaitley expressed confidence that the long-pending Goods and Services Tax (GST) would get the approval of Parliament soon.

The minister further said that India achieved over 7.5 per cent growth rate despite global headwinds and the effort of the government would be to improve it further by promoting ease of doing business and attracting more foreign investment and preventing domestic investors from going abroad.

One of the more important areas had been to bring Indias taxation system compatible with global standards. Therefore, we are now working on direct tax systems where we want to put the disputes behind us.

We want people to clean up their tax issues. And therefore, in this Budget I have also suggested various windows of clearing up pending disputes, Jaitley said.

He said the government is working to bring down Indias corporate tax rates gradually to a fair international level which will involve no discretion, no rent-seeking exemption, phasing all of them out gradually and then bringing taxation rate to a flat 25 per cent.

The Budget 2016-17 has provided for dispute resolution windows under which companies facing tax demands, which are stuck at various stages, can pay principal and interest or penalty and put an end to it.

As regards companies facing tax demands out of retrospective amendments, the Budget has provided a scheme under which interest and penalty has been waived off and firms can pay only the principal tax demand and settle the dispute.

On Goods and Services Tax (GST), Jaitley said one uniform common tax for whole of India, which converts the country into one big market and allows transfer of goods and services to take place across this large market, is pending before Parliament.

I am quite certain and we are reasonably moving towards a situation where we should be sooner than later be able to clear this... in Parliament, he said.

The indirect tax reform GST is stuck in the Rajya Sabha where the ruling NDA does not have a majority. Congress has been seeking three changes in the bill, including a constitutional cap on GST rate.

The GST bill is likely to come up for discussion in the second leg of Budget session beginning April 25. .