The Lok Sabha today passed The Finance Bill 2023 without any discussion on the amendments proposed by the Ministry of Finance amid sloganeering by Opposition MPs, who have been demanding constitution of a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on the Gautam Adani - Hindenburg matter. 

Among the key amendments that have been cleared are treating capital gains from debt mutual funds as only short-term capital gain, thereby taking away the long-term capital gain benefits on such mutual funds. The amendments have also made enabling provisions for GST (goods and services tax) tribunals.

According to the amendments, investment in mutual fund wherein equity exposure in shares of Indian companies is not more than 35% (essentially debt funds) will now be considered for short-term capital gains.  Experts believe that the passage of the finance bill is beneficial for the busineses.

"The passage of the Finance Bill in March would give some time for business to prepare for the changes from April 1. Now that the Finance Bill has been passed, it is essential to ensure that all system-related and accounting changes are completed in time to prevent business disruptions," says M S Mani, Partner, Deloitte India. 

On the GST Tribunal, Hardik Gandhi, Partner, Deloitte India points out that the next chapter in the GST journey would be setting up of an effective judicial process in the form of GST Tribunal. 

"Industry has been waiting with abated breath for formal setting up of GST Tribunal. With the inclusion of the enabling provisions around GST Tribunal in the amendment to the Finance Bill, 2023, the wait is likely to come to an end soon. The success of GST Tribunal will depend on the timely disposal of matters and in maintaining uniformity and consistency, thereby helping build confidence for businesses," Gandhi adds. 

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