BJP leader and economist Subramanian Swamy on Sunday said that the income tax be abolished as an immediate solution, in a bid to improve the ‘dismal’ state of India’s economy.
He was speaking on ‘Challenges in Rebooting the Indian Economy’ at an event organised by the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) on Sunday.
“In order to reboot the economy, somewhere we will have to do a bit of bloodletting… In my opinion, the most immediate thing, right now, is to abolish income tax, following which, a lot of people will heave a sigh a relief. I have been arguing about this with the prime minister, but he is not getting support from others. Who they are, I can guess,” he said.
The middle-class, which encompasses a large sector, should be sought out for its opinions about the government, which will prove beneficial, he said.
“When the PM asked me where the revenue will come from, I told him the income derived from Income Tax in the country is around `2 lakh crore whereas one allocation of a 3G spectrum can bring in that much money. The black money stashed away in secret accounts abroad is around `120 lakh crore, 60 times the income derived from Income Tax. The people of the country will heave a sigh of relief if the Income Tax system is abolished,” Swamy said.
The statement is in reference to the number of scams committed during the previous government.
On the issue of black money, he said, “The main problem lies in the fact that banks do not provide information about their account holders. However, there are many ways through which black money can be brought back. There is a ruling by the United Nations that a country, some of whose citizens possess secret bank accounts in other countries, can issue a mandate stating that the money held by its nationals can be nationalized. This option will be explored.”
Stating that there are 21 top lawyers in the country whose names figure on the list of those possessing secret bank accounts, Swamy said it was these people who had been raising their voices against the implementation of the UN directive.
Swamy also said “Agriculture represents our best potential, since we have suitable climate to farm 12 months of the year. We can grow three crops a year. We must modernise and ‘globalise’ agriculture, and turn it into our exporting sector,” he said, adding that the linking of India’s rivers, and creating a water grid will help in equitably distributing water resources.
Swamy added, the country’s economy grew at 8.4 per cent in 2003-04, which slumped to 4.8 per cent in 2013-14.
If Indian agriculture is globalised and youth are educated, India can transform from a developing to a developed country. He said, “Our youth must be given the best education and manufacturing must be boosted, since it provides employment to many of India’s semi-skilled workforce… I am very optimistic about the country growing at 10 per cent.”