Blinded by tax revenue
- Spot-fixing: Petition in SC seeks stay on IPL matches, demands SIT probe
- India, China call for end to incursion issue, sign 8 deals to boost ties
- Sanjay Dutt spends restless nights as officials yet to decide on his jail
- Aarushi murder case: Rajesh Talwar claims he was asleep when killings took place
- Yahoo! says will acquire Tumblr for $1.1 bn, eyes billion visitors mark
The recent report of the standing committee on finance has engineered a sharp discussion on the merits of a tax hike on the rich in India. Former RBI governor C. Rangarajan has opined, possibly on the basis of the "findings" contained in the report, that perhaps India needs an inheritance tax along the lines of the United States. Indeed, it can be argued that the Indian glitterati, and perhaps even the policymakers, take their cue from happenings in the US. That the US debate on economic matters should be of considerable interest (and introspection) to all of us is beyond question. The US is both the lead economy and certainly the "lead" economist in the world. Many of the most talented economic thinkers and policymakers in the world have been trained, and trained rigorously, in the US. So you know where I stand in learning from the US.
But it should be abundantly clear to most, if not all, that on taxation matters, particularly individual taxation, the US is the worst country to follow. Their system is broken, and all the US manages to do with its direct tax code is apply band-aids at every opportunity. The US does the same in its lame attempt to remedy its antiquated, repressive, regressive and obscene lack of laws on gun control. The US does need to address issues of inequality and taxation and gun control ó it does not at all follow that we, or anyone else, have to do the same.
We have enough problems at home without worsening our balance by importing some from abroad. If we have to change the direct tax code, it has to be based on something considerably more rational than aping the US. The table documents the data presented on page 40 of the standing committee report.
- Former Ranji player among 3 more held
- Rajasthan Royals to file FIR against tainted trio
- If found guilty, BCCI to ask ICC to erase Sreesanth records
- Top cops among 42 named in death of blast accused
- Manmohan-Li talks: PM takes tough line on incursion issue
- Security forces blame Maoists, villagers say CoBRA man was killed in 'friendly fire'