Yoga guru had mooted enacting tax laws that do not make a person hide his wealth

Welcoming yoga guru Ramdev's campaign against black money, Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar said on Tuesday night that the former's suggestions to tackle the menace were “pragmatic.”

Mr. Pawar's remarks came after an hour-long meeting with Baba Ramdev here during which the two discussed ways to unearth black money and enact laws that make stashing of cash impossible.

“Baba Ramdev made suggestions like enacting such tax laws that do not make a person necessary to hide his wealth. Such wealth can be used for various development purposes,” Mr. Pawar told reporters after meeting the yoga guru.

The Union Minister said he did not “smell politics” in Baba Ramdev's campaign as he had announced that he would meet leaders of all political parties ranging from Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Prakash Karat to All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam supremo Jayalalithaa and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh.

“He [Baba Ramdev] has said he will meet responsible leaders in all the States and important persons who take key decisions. He has done one good thing that he has not spoken of any one party. He has talked about all parties and we liked this approach,” Mr. Pawar said.

Mr. Pawar is among the 15 Union Ministers against whom Team Anna has levelled allegations of corruptions and he said

there was a need for everyone to examine how to adopt the path suggested by Baba Ramdev and move forward.

Tax money not enough

The Agriculture Minister said Baba Ramdev made certain suggestions on changing tax laws. He had said the funds collected by the government through taxes was not enough to carry out development works as desired and hidden money can help in this regard.

“When this hidden money will come out, it will benefit all and help change the life of the common man,” Mr. Pawar said.

Mr. Pawar said he first met Baba Ramdev five-six years back at a yoga camp he had organised in his hometown. He said that he was impressed by Baba Ramdev's ability to influence people and promote ancient Indian practices such as yoga.

Seven suggestions

Baba Ramdev said he made seven suggestions to Mr. Pawar and contended that the black money, if recovered, could help in stabilising the Rupee, arrest the slide in economic growth and even allow 30-50 per cent cut in petrol prices.