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‘Tax on super-rich should be seen as small expectation from them to support the poor’

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on July 20, 2019 Published on July 20, 2019

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman releasing a handbook with M.M. Murugappan (left), Executive Chairman, Murugappa Group and MAMR Muthiah, Group Managing Director, Chettinad Group, at the fourth edition of the International Business Conference of Nagarathars in Chennai on Saturday. Photo: Bijoy Ghosh   -  BUSINESS LINE

The tax on the super rich, announced in the Union Budget, is more to say, “can you not share a bit more of the burden to take care of the poor?” This is a small expectation from the super rich, said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

While the Budget announced many measures to help the start-ups, at the same time, questions have cropped up on taxing the super rich. Clarifying, Sitharaman said not more than 5,000 persons fall in the super-rich category. However, the entire population of 1.3 crore people is worried that they have been taxed.

“The super rich should also shoulder part of the government’s responsibility to support the poor. The super rich have not been taxed with the intention of affecting their business, neither is it highway robbery. You do your business and give a bit more to support the poor,” she said in her inaugural speech at the International Business Conference of Nagarathars, organised by the Nagarathar Chamber of Commerce.

“Today, India is at the cusp where we want to eliminate poverty. We want to move towards a better India, where everybody gets opportunity. While I appreciate India Inc is the wealth creator, the job creator, I want to emphasise that in our country in the last 60 years, we have spoken only of our rights and kept our duties to a minimum. Irrespective of being rich or poor, one has to do his duty to the nation. The poor are doing their duty without any returns and they suffer. That’s why the government is doing a lot for them by way of providing money or free education and healthcare,” she said.

India will grow only if our youngsters and our businesses are given the opportunity to grow. That’s the main focus of the government, which is taking efforts to make sure that every youth gets support from the government, banks or any other organisation, so that they can conduct their business without any hindrance. The government’s emphasis is on Ease of Living, not just Ease of Doing Business. “We should be able to lead our life without much worry and the government is taking lots of efforts towards this,” she said.

On her using the 'bahi khata' instead of the Budget briefcase, a tradition followed since the British colonial era, Sitharaman said it became big news in the media. “Our government is not a suitcase government. We are not a suitcase carrying government,” she said in a veiled attack on the Congress. “Suitcase denotes suitcase taking and suitcase giving,” she said in an indirect reference to corruption during Congress rule at the Centre.

Published on July 20, 2019
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