Just 1% Indians Pay Income Tax, Says NTITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant’

But, experts believes that ‘Modi’ may serve more ‘bitter tea’ to the well-off sections in the country to root out black money

A Study Report By:
Harbans S Nagokay.

Jammu, December 21
Yes! Few specialist-experts; started noticing on ‘what does Modi’s smile indicate of his January intentions? Already, many ministers and bureaucrats have decided to spend December 31 in Delhi, thinking there will be a shock announcement over radio and television as the deadline for depositing withdrawn high-value currency notes in bank accounts ends.
Though! SATTA BAZAR people are almost out of market but some enthusiasts are taking bets on whether it would be the abolition of income tax; or suspension of registration of properties to unearth benami ownership of land; or a clampdown on bank lockers across the country to ferret out gold, silver and precious stones. Or even demonetization of the newly issued Rs 2,000 notes.
On other side, the opposition, however, thinks the whole exercise was done with an eye on the Uttar Pradesh& Punjab elections. Leaders of the Congress and other parties fear that Modi could announce a far bigger loan waiver scheme than the one announced by the Manmohan Singh government in 2008. Modi has dropped hints that demonetization would not hurt farmers and that he would continue the national political consensus of no income tax on agricultural income.
All the same, who had argued for demonetisation in the sanghparivar have also been saying that income tax should be abolished. Instead they want all money transactions to be done through banks so that a bank transaction tax could be charged. It means taking money from every citizen, including agriculturists and those below the present income tax exemption limit. The theorists argue that even 1 per cent banking transaction tax would generate enough money to fill the coffers of Central and state governments, municipalities and panchayats. The top of story is that the guessing game would continue even within his own cabinet on what Modi is hiding in his short sleeves and behind his smile.
Things are otherwise quite visible from today’s announcements where in order to encourage digital transactions, the Finance Ministry today asked public sector banks to restrict fee on payments through IMPS and UPI to the extent that is applicable for NEFT fund transfer of over Rs. 1,000.As per RBI norms, NEFT transfers of up to Rs. 10,000 attract Rs. 2.5 fee. From Rs. 10,000-1 lakh the fee is Rs. 5; on Rs. 1-2 lakh it is Rs. 15, and beyond Rs. 2 lakh it is Rs. 25. Service tax is charged in addition to this.For Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) transactions above Rs. 1,000, the ministry said a further discount of 50 paise on these rates shall apply. USSD is mobile short code message and used mainly for banking services on feature phone.
The USSD fee is Rs. 1.50, which has been waived till December 30, 2016. In order to further promote digital and card payments, the ministry has issued a direction in public interest to all Public Sector Banks, said an official statement.In accordance with this “these banks shall not charge fees for transactions settled on Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) and Unified Payments Interface (UPI) in excess of rates charged for National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) for transactions above Rs. 1000, with service tax being charged at actuals”, it said.
Indeed! In order to promote digital transaction, NitiAayog has announced two schemes – Lucky GrahakYojana and DigiDhanVyaparYojana’, to be launched on December 25. The schemes will cover small transactions between Rs. 50 and Rs. 3,000.Transactions using RuPay, USSD, UPI and Aadhar Enabled Payment System (AEPS) will be covered under this scheme; payments made through credit cards and e-wallets would not be covered.In line with the central government’s objective of promotion of payments through cards and digital means over payments in cash, the Reserve Bank has recently rationalized customer charges for transactions up to Rs. 1,000 settled on IMPS, UPI and USSD from January 1-March 31, 2017
This are otherwise also noticeable by the statement of NITI AYOG’s Chief Executive Officer Mr. Amitabh Kant who on Wednesday said just one per cent of India’s more than 1.25 billion population pays Income Tax and the country cannot afford as high as 95 per cent of its economy making cash transactions.Addressing a Workshop on Cashless Transaction organised by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Mr Kant said India cannot afford as high as 95 per cent of its economy making cash transactions if the economy has to be taken from $2 trillion to $10 trillion by the year 2030.
According to Mr Kant, there are more than a billion mobile phone subscribers in India and more than one billion Aadhaar biometrics have been created so far, according to an official release.He said with an aim to push India among the top economies of the world, the government has enrolled nearly 26 c;rore people under the Pradhan Mantri Jan-DhanYojana (PMJDY) and more than 20 crore RuPay cards issued.

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