CPI(M) slams tax `concessions` to the rich

Last Updated: Thursday, February 28, 2013 - 18:01

New Delhi: The CPI(M) on Thursday castigated the government for foregoing over Rs 5.73 lakh crore as tax revenues by granting tax concessions to the rich, saying the amount was Rs 53,000 crore more than the fiscal deficit.

"The budget proposals will further enrich the rich and impoverish the poor," senior CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury told reporters while reacting to the 2013-14 Budget.

Quoting data presented in the budget, he said the aggregated revenue foregone from central taxes or the tax that has not been collected in 2012-13 was Rs 5.73 lakh crore as against Rs 5.33 lakh crore in 2011-12. The fiscal deficit stood at Rs 5.20 lakh crore.

"So, the tax not collected, mainly from the rich, is Rs 53,000 crore more than the fiscal deficit. So the government is only subsidising the rich and the corporates," he said.

On the 10 percent surcharge on tax paid by the `super-rich`, he said "the concessions granted to them are much more than the revenue to be earned from this surcharge."

In most sectors, the revised estimates were less than the budget estimates, implying that the amount spent on these crucial sectors were less than the allocation, Yechury said.

The revised estimates of tax revenue in 2012-13 were incorporated in the budget, showing that revenues from income tax rose by 20 percent, from corporate tax by 17 percent, excise duty by 15 percent and service tax by 36 percent.

"This is an absolutely unrealistic manner" in which the budget has been calculated at a time when there was an economic slowdown, Yechury said, adding there was a major shortfall in revenue collection in the last fiscal.

"From where is he (Finance Minister P Chidambaram) expecting high revenues.... In the name of fiscal consolidation, we can see a further squeeze in expenditure and a severe crunch on the people.... Very soon we will see supplementary grants being brought before Parliament."

PTI



First Published: Thursday, February 28, 2013 - 18:01

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