Union Budget has 'dampened' economic sentiments: BJP
New Delhi: Opposition BJP on Monday criticized the Union Budget 2012-13 saying it has "dampened" economic sentiments as almost all services have been brought under tax ambit.
"The approach of this budget is to tax people where we can
tax. This is a retrograde approach," Leader of the Opposition
Arun Jaitley said initiating the debate on the General Budget
in the Rajya Sabha.
He said while people had expected the budget to give a
boost to the economy, "the budget has ended up doing exactly
Holding that the budget has been prepared with a pre-1991
mindset when the country opened the doors to liberalisation,
Jaitley said the government has also decided to tax "people
even on what they spend" while there has been little effort to
widen the economic activity.
"You have decided to tax all types of services, making us
one of the highest tax paying societies in the world. The
entire tax structure could be 15 to 16 per cent of what an
individual earns," he said, demanding a re-look.
He said the 12 per cent service tax, which the Finance
Minister has proposed across every activity, is "excessive"
and will lead to inflammatory pressure.
Jaitley said the budget has also failed to "correct the
environment" where there is high interest rate, infrastructure
slowdown and reverse flight of capital".
He demanded that illegal activities like betting, gambling
and lottery be brought under tax net and decision to amend the
Customs Act, that seeks to bring bail provisions of POTA and
TADA under it, reconsidered.