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Country's budget anti-people: Medha

Posted on Feb 13, 10:42AM | UNI

Bhopal, Feb 12 : Social activist Medha Patkar today alleged that the country's budget is anti-people lacking in equitable distribution of economic and natural resources.

"The Centre should provide equitable budget that should be bereft of complexities. Presently, the budget is being prepared under the pressure of corporate sector and multinational corporations," Ms Patkar told a press conference organised by the National Alliance for People's Movement and People's Budget Initiative here.

Observing that the ratio of collection of tax as a proportion to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was mere 16.4 per cent, she pointed out that even lower middle income countries had tax-GDP ratio of 17.7 per cent.

"Presently, the country has 55 billionaires but the collection of wealth tax is mere Rs 1,000 crore. If the wealth of these individuals are taxed at even one per cent around Rs 47,250 crore could be realised annually. Likewise, municipal property tax is untapped source of revenue," Ms Patkar said.

Stressing on the need for making tax structure more progressive by increasing the share of direct tax in total collection, she said that the present requirement is of prosperity line (amiri rekha) for imposing tax akin to poverty line.

"Not more than a few lakh persons in the country will be taxed directly if property to be taxed on the basis of certain determined valuation cut off. This can help in waiving a number of taxes being imposed on a large population," said Ms Patkar.

She underlined the need for stopping favouring corporate sector by providing incentives in the form of exemptions that formed significant percentage of revenue forgone on total tax collection.