With a little over two months left for the Budget, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today promised more “sound and prudent economic policies” which are “not for short-term political point-scoring” but for “larger national interests” and underlined the need to levy higher taxes on the capital markets.
“Let me make one thing very clear: This government will continue to follow sound and prudent economic policies, to ensure that we have a bright future in the long-run. We’ll not take decisions for short-term political point-scoring.
We’ll not shy away from taking difficult decisions, if those decisions are in the interest of the country,” Modi said here.
Modi was addressing a gathering, which included the top functionaries of the Maharashtra government led by the governor and the chief minister, Union finance minister Arun Jaitley, Sebi chairman U K Sinha among others, while inaugurating the Sebi-run National Institute of Securities Markets.
Describing the November 8-9 announcement of cancelling as much as 86 per cent or Rs 20.51 trillion worth of currency in circulation as a “difficult decision”, he said, “Demonetisation has (brought about) short-term pains, but it will bring in long-term gains.” On the need to increase levies on the capital markets in the light of amendments to the many of the bilateral investment and taxation treaties, Modi said, “Those who profit from financial markets must make a fair contribution to nation-building through taxes…. We should consider methods for increasing it in a fair, efficient and transparent way.
“… now it is time to re-think and come up with a good design which is simple and transparent, but also fair and progressive,” Modi said, adding for various reasons, contribution of tax from those who make money on the markets has been low due to illegal activities and frauds or due to the structure of our tax laws which offers low or zero tax rate is given to certain types of financial income.
Claiming that he has brought back the economy to good health from the brink when it was saddled with high fiscal and current account deficits and high inflation and falling rupee, since he took over in May 2014, Modi said when the global economy is fighting lingering slowdown, “India is being seen as a bright spot. Our growth is projected to remain among the highest in the world.