New Delhi: Subramanian Swamy, Rajya Sabha MP and senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader, has demanded that income tax be abolished in order to boost savings rate and drive economic growth.
Swamy has also called for bringing back black money stashed in tax havens abroad and nationalising those funds.
Speaking on Thursday (as reported by news agency PTI), the firebrand politician hit out at his own party colleague, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, and said the latter chose not to do it as being a lawyer, he was "little sensitive" to the rights of those who have kept illicit money abroad.
"If I am in the government, I will do it within one week, if I am not in government, I will do it (remove income tax) within three years. The only way to encourage people to save more today is by abolishing the income tax completely," Swamy said.
Swamy's remarks came on a day when Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself stressed that the tax base should be increased 100% to 10 crores.
The BJP leader said the national savings rate has fallen to 33% and there is a need to push it up to at least 40%. This, he said, would help provide resources for growth which needs to be around 10% for at least a decade in order to eradicate poverty and unemployment.
Swamy said he had spoken to the Prime Minister regarding black money and added the latter was in favour of the "preferred" adoption of a UN-approved method of recovering the black money by nationalisation of such funds.
"If any country passes a law...that the citizens of their country holding accounts in the banks of these 70 countries (practising secret banking), their bank account is hereby nationalised," he said.
"Why didn't we do this all this while? Because Jaitley is a lawyer and he was little sensitive to the rights of those who have accounts there. But now the PM says this is an important issue and we have to do something about it," he said.