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March 2, 2024

Nirmala Sitharaman Asserts States’ Tax Share Unalterable, Vows Crackdown on Black Money

During an event organized by The Indian Express in Bengaluru, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman made firm statements regarding the distribution of states’ tax shares and the crackdown on black money, emphasizing the government’s stance on fiscal integrity and transparency.

Sitharaman addressed concerns regarding the allocation of tax revenues to states, asserting that the Finance Commission determines the tax devolution share, leaving no room for intervention by any Finance Minister, regardless of their inclinations. She emphasized that even the most assertive Finance Minister cannot alter this allocation, as it is mandated by the Commission.

Responding to recent assertions by opposition leaders from southern states regarding their collective demands, Sitharaman cautioned against divisive rhetoric, emphasizing the need for unity and collaboration among states. She underscored the importance of adhering to constitutional principles and refraining from divisive propositions that could undermine national cohesion.

Regarding the rising share of cesses and surcharges that do not contribute to the divisible pool with states, Sitharaman clarified that the Constitution permits the central government to levy such charges. She emphasized the government’s commitment to constitutional norms while acknowledging its prerogative to implement levies sanctioned by the Constitution.

In terms of economic concerns, Sitharaman highlighted external factors as a significant source of worry, citing geopolitical tensions and fluctuations in global commodity prices as key considerations. She emphasized the need for resilience in the face of external uncertainties, indicating a pragmatic approach to economic management.

When questioned about domestic issues such as job creation, monopolies, and private investments, Sitharaman prioritized private investments as a critical area of focus. She underscored the government’s dedication to fostering a conducive environment for private sector growth through policy stability and transparency.

Addressing allegations of corruption, Sitharaman reaffirmed the government’s commitment to integrity and transparency, asserting that stability in policy and governance has bolstered India’s attractiveness to investors.

Looking ahead to the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, Sitharaman stressed the importance of parliamentary strength for effective governance, cautioning against the temptation of coalition experiments during a critical juncture for India’s development.

Sitharaman also highlighted the role of state governments in driving reforms and addressing regional challenges, emphasizing the need for decentralized decision-making and cooperation among states.

In concluding remarks, Sitharaman reiterated the government’s resolve to combat black money through stringent enforcement measures, emphasizing the role of investigative agencies in upholding fiscal probity and deterring illicit financial activities.

Overall, Sitharaman’s statements reflect the government’s commitment to fiscal discipline, constitutional norms, and economic resilience amidst domestic and global challenges.

Rajan Shukla

Rajan Shukla

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