Stating that just 1.5 crore people pay taxes in the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday made a strong appeal to citizens to take a pledge to pay their taxes honestly, keeping in mind the sacrifice of those who laid down their lives for the freedom of the nation. “We will be celebrating 75 years of our Independence in 2022. I urge you to align your personal objectives with this great occasion,” Modi told the First Times Now Summit.
He said the government was making a strong effort to make India a tax-compliant society. “In the past four-five years, a lot of work has been done but there is a long way to go,” Modi said.
The PM said last year, 1.5 crore cars were sold and more than 3 crore people travelled overseas for business or leisure. He said across the country there were many professionals who were lawyers, doctors and chartered accountants but only 2,200 professionals declared annual income above Rs 1 crore. “There will be that many in the Supreme Court itself,” he said.
“We feel happy when we see people going overseas for vacations and buying cars of their choice. But when we see the number paying tax, it worries me,” he said.
Detailing steps taken by the government to re-orient the tax system from process-centric to people-centric, PM Modi said, "There will be no room for foul play anymore". The PM also said tax administration is being overhauled, promising, "Tax harassment will be a thing of the past. Now India is moving towards tax encouragement with the help of technology." He added that the country had entered the club of a handful of nations who have a taxpayers' charter.
Modi referred to reform measures the government had unveiled in its second tenure. "The theme of your summit is India Action Plan 2020 but India is now working on action plans for the entire decade. Yes, the style may be befitting the T-20 format but the resolve is to ensure consistent performance, build new records and make it India's series. The world's youngest country is in a mood to play at a very fast pace," said Modi, using cricketing metaphors as he listed a string of decisions his government has taken after its return to office.
Modi ticked off major decisions taken, saying there was more to come, and reeled off initiatives like abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir's special status, passage of the Citizenship Amendment Act, the PM Kisan yojana, plan to complete stuck housing, bringing water strategy centrestage, passing the law against triple talaq, rights for transgenders and major changes in corporate tax.
Modi also detailed the measures taken by the government to achieve the goal of a $5 trillion economy and said the February 1 budget had steps to achieve that target. Addressing the scepticism in certain quarters about the target, the PM said: "It is better to set a stiff target and seek to achieve it rather than drifting forward without aim".
"This is not an easy goal but also not one that cannot be achieved," the PM said, asserting that the country was moving ahead on several fronts and there was renewed confidence. He said businessmen and entrepreneurs have got confidence that they can do business in a good environment and prosper. He said the government was working overtime to reach the $5 trillion economy target.
Earlier, in his welcome address, Times Group MD Vineet Jain said citizens, who are stakeholders in the country's future, have a great responsibility in deciding how to face the challenges aheadRead More – Source