Ahead of India's upcoming Budget Session, Shankkar Aiyar discusses the idea of taxing India's rich. Excerpts:
"The Forbes billionaires’ list hosts over 110 Indian dollar billionaires, who are cumulatively worth over $400 billion, that is Rs 28.40 lakh crore, give or take a few millions or crores.
A three per cent tax would net around Rs 85,000 crore – wealth may not be liquid so shares could be accepted, to be listed as Bharat Billionaires ETF. The kitty could be bigger as Indian billionaires add to their wealth and as more join their ranks. Also, the list is scarcely exhaustive, there are many who do not run listed entities, many are known unknowns."
He also explains how the lack of resources is an issue but not the issue:
"Lack of resources is an issue but not the issue. It is not that the government has not spent monies. In the past decade, the expenditure of governments in India —centre and states—has shot up from Rs 18.52 lakh crore, average of Rs 211 crore per hour to Rs 53.61 lakh crore, an average of Rs 612 crore per hour or Rs 10 crore every minute of the day. Gross borrowings of centre and states doubled from Rs 6.23 lakh crore to Rs 12.58 lakh crore and tax incidence has gone up from Rs 8,200 per person for 119 crore persons to over Rs 25,800 per person across a population of 135 crore people."
Read the full article here.