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No Prosecution for Minor Offences upto Rs 25 Lakh, Two-member Collegium For Higher Tax Defaults

New Delhi: Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday announced that prosecution for procedural or tax defaults below Rs 25 lakh will be sanctioned only with the prior approval of Collegium of two officers.

"It is not that just because someone wants to start prosecution that he/she will be allowed to do so," she said.

The two officers who form the collegium will be from the ranks of Chief Commissioner Income Tax (CCIT) or Director General Income Tax (DGIT).

"Prosecution will be launched only in deserving cases. For small tax payers, prosecution won't be initiated," the finance minister said.

The finance minister's announcement came as part of the prosecution easing measures taken by the Centre. She was elaborating on the follow up actions taken on the annoucements by the finance ministry on August 23 and 30, 2019 regarding the measures to enhance economic growth.

Among other measures, Sitharaman also announced that small tax payers with minor procedural defaults will not be prosecuted.

"Prosecution to be launched only in deserving cases and to be commensurate to the degree of offence," she said.

The finance minister also told the media that compounding applications of past offences can be filled up to December 31, 2019 which were not filled within prescribed time schedule.

"This will reduce the existing pendency of prosecution," she said.