On the heels of ushering in new dispute resolution mechanism, the CBDT has appointed 15 commissioners as members of the newly set up five dispute resolution panels (DRPs).
These 15 commissioners will staff the five DRPs set up in Delhi (two panels), Mumbai (two panels) and Bengaluru (one DRP), official sources said.
Most of the appointees were hitherto holding the posts of Commissioner of Income Tax (appeals) in the income tax department on a full time basis.
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has specified that those appointed as DRP members will now hold additional charge of CIT (Appeals).
The five DRPs have been put in place early this month to provide comfort to foreign investors that dispute resolution would be available in India on a "neutral" and objective manner.
Commenting on CBDT move, S.P.Singh, Senior Director-transfer pricing, Deloitte in India said this showed that the government was serious about making DRP effective and efficient.
However, a lot needs to be done. First, the members of DRPs should be fulltime with no additional jurisdictions.
"If there is shortage of Commissioners of Income Tax, then government should urgently go for promotions". Second, frivolous additions should be controlled so that only important issues go to DRP and further appeals. Third, members should be encouraged to be judicious; and finally, appeals against orders of DRPs should not be filed in a casual manner, Singh told Business Line.