3 years after Voda/Budget 2012 - ' Mauka Mauka' !
Anyone following the Cricket World Cup closely and especially on twitter would have realised the pun behind the blog title ! But yes, that is what it is... 3 years ago, in January 2015 the Supreme Court delivered the most awaited verdict in a tax case ( Vodafone ) in more than a decade, that initiially caused euphoria among MNCs, India Inc, tax payers & tax professionals alike.. however the same was short lived as the then Finance Minister and now President Mr. Pranab Mukherjee struck back with a vengeance in his Budget just a month later with wholesale retrospective amendments and unleashing of the GAAR. It would not be an overstatement if one said that the Finance Bill of 2012 spooked the tax world as well as the investor community.
Three years later, GAAR still looks at best 50-50 to come through, the retro amendments though are in 'suspended animation' and the Government is still talking the 'non-adversarial' tax regime talk. As Finance Minister Arun Jaitley rises to present his budget this time, the question though is very different - Will Mr. Arun Jaitley seize the moment/ 'Mauka'? And there is a reason why such high hopes are pinned on this Budget. As his predecessor Mr. Chidambaram rightly points out in his preview of his successor's Budget, it is the first time in 3 decades that a Finance Minister belongs to a party that has 'absolute majority' in the Lower House - Lok Sabha. And Mr. Chidambaram beautifully frames the question in this Must Read article - ' What will the FM do with 282?' http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/across-the-aisle-what-will-the-fm-do-with-282/
Corporate India and tax professionals alike would be hoping that Mr. Jaitley plays a swashbuckling innings like Virat Kohli/Shikhar Dhawan and does an encore in the form of big bang tax reforms, especially on the administrative and dispute resolution side. If however the FM flatters to deceive, the question will have to be re-framed : ' Mauka Mauka' or ' Dhoka Dhoka' ? ( disclaimer: 'dhoka' here refers to not rising upto the mandate/nos that the FM has in Lok Sabha )
5 days to go.... !