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Tough year ahead, best to be prepared, warns Chidambaram

Congress MP P. Chidambaram speaks in the Rajya Sabha during the second part of Budget Session of Parliament, in New Delhi on March 28, 2022.

Congress MP P. Chidambaram speaks in the Rajya Sabha during the second part of Budget Session of Parliament, in New Delhi on March 28, 2022. | Photo Credit: PTI

“It seems the private investors have lost faith in the Indian government or vice–versa,’’ said Congress Rajya Sabha MP P. Chidambaram on Monday while taking part in the discussion on the Appropriation Bill and the Finance Bill, 2022 which was moved by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the House.

Stating that the private players are vital contributors to the growth of the economy ,Mr. Chidambaram said this is an area that the government needs to look into as we go into a tough year ahead. “It is best to be forewarned and prepared as the world’s economy is undergoing a churning,’’ he advised.

He also sought the immediate replacement of the Income Tax Act by direct tax code stating that the current regime benefits only chartered accountants and lawyers. He said this Bill indicates that “there is something seriously wrong with the Central government’s proposed tax policies and administration.’’

“If direct tax is not growing in proportion to the GDP, it means that a bulk of people paying indirect tax is growing. The burden must be shared and the rich must pay more. Wealth of the top one per cent has increased astronomically in the past year. This is a bad trend.’’

The Finance Bill, which gives effect to new taxation, thus completing the budgetary exercise for 2022-23 fiscal, was moved in the Rajya Sabha after being approved by the Lok Sabha on Friday.

During deliberation over the Bills in the Rajya Sabha, BJP MP Sushil Kumar Modi said dealing in cryptocurrencies is a form of “gambling, lottery and horse–racing”.

Taxes imposed on cryptocurrencies

“Who regulates cryptos?” Mr. Modi asked. He listed taxes imposed on cryptocurrencies by several countries such as Japan, which imposes 55% tax, Germany, France and Austria (up to 45%) and the U.S. (37%) and asked the Finance Minister to consider if the government can increase the tax, which the Bill specifies at 30%, in the coming days. 

Congress MP Shaktisinh Gohil said the pandemic has impacted the budget of the households. “No change in tax slab is disappointing as the middle class suffered immensely during the pandemic,’’ he said while criticising the government for raising the excise duty on petroleum products.

TKS Elangovan (DMK) said the budget has nothing for the poor and the common man and questioned the government over the issue of minimum support prices for foodgrains saying promises have not been fulfilled by the Centre. V. Vijay Sai Reddy ( YSR Congress) questioned the government’s move on the disinvestment of the PSUs. He said Andhra Pradesh is the biggest victim of privatisation of the PSUs and termed the privatisation of the Visakhapatnam Steel plant deplorable.


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Printable version | Jun 30, 2022 11:09:41 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tough-year-ahead-best-to-be-prepared-warns-chidambaram/article65268402.ece