FM against burdening salaried, middle class

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New Delhi | November 23, 2014 1:20 AM

Finance minister Arun Jaitley said on Saturday he does not favour burdening the salaried...

Finance minister Arun Jaitley said on Saturday he does not favour burdening the salaried and middle-class with more taxes, but would go after the evaders in widening the net. In fact, he would encourage more money being put in the pockets of tax payers that will lead to spending and collection of more indirect taxes.

“This widening of the tax base. What does it mean? …I pay the same indirect tax as my attendant. Our volume of consumption may be different. Everybody is paying indirect taxes, and literally almost half your taxes are indirect taxes today. He pays excise, he pays customs duty, he pays service tax. Now as far as income tax is concerned, if bringing those who evade tax is widening the tax net, I am all for it,” the minister said in an interaction with journalists at the PTI headquarters in Delhi.

He was replying to a question on whether his budget would look at widening the tax base to maximise revenue. Jaitley said that in his last budget he had increased the tax exemption limit from R2 lakh to R2.5 lakh and would raise it even further if he had more money.
He also said the government was having a relook at some of the bilateral tax treaties signed with foreign countries that may be hindering the repatriation of black money.

He said he had sent a delegation recently to Switzerland and they have come back with some positive movement. “We have to furnish evidence independent of the HSBC list,” he said, referring to the discussions with the Swiss government.

On another question relating to difficulties in getting black money from abroad, a promise of which was made by the BJP during elections, Jaitley said there is a settled procedure and the government has to go by that settled process.

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