Lower income tax? Jaitley says not a bad idea, ahead of demonetisation deadline

Jaitley said that demonetisation may have come as a shock to many, and exposed the corrupt, but it needed people to willingly come forward to pay tax and revenue due to the dispensation

Lower income tax? Jaitley says not a bad idea, ahead of demonetisation deadline

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday said that India will have to move  to a lower level of taxation to be globally competitive.

"What you need is lower level of taxation, to provide services more competitive in nature. Competition is not domestic, it is global," said Jaitley.

He said that demonetisation may have come as a shock to many, and exposed the corrupt, but it needed people to willingly come forward to pay tax and revenue due to the dispensation.


"The India that we foresee in future decades will be an India where voluntary compliance will have to increase," Jaitley said.

Speaking at the inaugural function of the  68th batch of Indian Revenue Service (Customs & Central Excise) officers, the BJP leader gave a strong message to those with undisclosed income that the days of tax evasion and not suffering the repercussions are over.

"Payment of legitimate taxes is part of a citizen's duty, and non payment is visited with severe consequences," the minister said.

He also talked about tax evasion culture prevalent in India and also mentioned that it had penetrated through the society.

"We've lived through the last seven decades in India under the impression that if avoidance (of taxes) could be done, there wasn't anything immoral. It was considered as commercial smartness. Some people were visited with very serious consequences," the finance minister observed.

The December 30 deadline set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for limits on cash withdrawal is not likely to be met, with observers and experts alike saying the bad effects of demonetisation will take till July to wear off.

Several reports have done the rounds on the possibility of the tweaking of tax slabs to give the middle class something to cheer about in the Union Budget, which for the first time will be delivered on February 1 and not 28. And another first is that the Railway Budget will not precede the February 1 exercise as the rail version has been discontinued.