Delhi

Centre taxing poor to waive loan of friends, says Arvind Kejriwal

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal | Photo Credit: FILE PHOTO

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday accused the BJP-led Centre of taxing the poor to “write off the loans of their friends”.

Casting doubts on the financial health of the Centre, the Delhi CM remarked that it was for the first time since Independence that daily commodities were being taxed by the Centre even after which it was not in a position to give “pension to the soldiers”.

The Delhi CM said, “The Central government is collecting twice to thrice the tax it used to collect in 2014. Where is all this money going?”

Hitting back

Mr. Kejriwal, who has been under attack by the BJP over his “freebies”, has retaliated by taking on the BJP for its ‘Dostwaad’ (undue favours to friends).

“If loans worth ₹10 lakh crore were not waived by these people, the Centre would not have had to impose taxes on milk and curd or to stop pensions of our soldiers. These people are waiving lakhs of crores of loans for their rich friends and taxing the poor. If all the government money is spent on a few people, then how will the country progress?” he said.

The Delhi CM also said, “For the past few days, the way in which free welfare services are being opposed is rather baffling. It is being said that if such schemes are not stopped then governments across the country will go bankrupt. This creates doubt about the economic well-being of the Central government,” he added.

Mr. Kejriwal said for the past 70-75 years, children have been getting free education in government hospitals and poor people have been availing themselves of free medicines in government hospitals.

“People also get free ration. So, what happened all of a sudden that so much ruckus is being created to roll back these public services? I really hope and pray that the Central government is financially sound and thinking wisely,” he said.

The Delhi CM said a deliberate attempt was being made to create an atmosphere of doubt around the welfare schemes run by several State governments.

“For the first time since the Independence, daily commodities are being taxed by the Centre, never has any government imposed such draconian taxes ever before,” he said.

“Earlier, the Centre used to pay 42% of the tax collected from across the country to the States, but it has now been reduced to 29-30%. The Central government earns ₹1,000 crore daily from taxes on petrol and diesel,” he also said.

The Delhi CM remarked that the Centre was now saying that it had “no money to pay 100 days’ wages to the poor MGNREGA workers” and had cut its budget for the scheme by 25%.

Pay Commission

He also questioned why the Centre, which constitutes a Pay Commission for government employees every five years had decided against constituting the 8th Pay Commission.

“When the reason was asked, they said that they don’t have funds. It is shocking that the Central government does not have the money to hike the salaries of its own employees. The Centre is in such an abysmal condition that they are not constituting a Pay Commission, something which has been regularly done by their predecessors,” he said.


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Printable version | Aug 19, 2022 1:32:57 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/centre-taxing-poor-to-waive-loan-of-friends-says-arvind-kejriwal/article65759005.ece