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April 26, 2024

Inheritance Tax Threatens Decade of Progress, Warns Finance Minister as She Casts Vote

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman made a significant statement after casting her vote at a polling booth in Bengaluru’s BEs college, expressing concerns over the potential impact of an inheritance tax on India’s progress. She emphasized the public’s desire for stability and development under Prime Minister Modi’s leadership.

“I want more and more people to come out and vote…I think it is clear that people want a stable government, they want good policies, progress and development and that is why they are coming out. They want to see PM Modi continue his term,” Sitharaman said.

Sitharaman criticized the Congress for proposing an inheritance tax-like law, warning that it could nullify India’s progress over the last decade. She drew parallels to historical taxation policies, highlighting the detrimental effects they had on wealth creators.

“I remember earlier in 1968 there was a compulsory deposit scheme where people’s deposits were all 18 per cent, 20 per cent. Something was taken away. There was no justification given at that time… If such wealth creators are going to be punished purely because they have some money kept behind, India’s progress in the last ten years would just go for a zero,” Sitharaman explained.

The Finance Minister also stressed that an inheritance tax would directly impact the middle class and aspirational class, undermining their hard work and savings.

“It (the inheritance tax) directly hits the middle class. It directly hits the aspirational class. They work hard, sweat and toil of theirs are saved in small savings here and there, or they buy a house, a dream house, and keep some fixed deposits. All this is going to be exposed to the so-called property tax,” she told ANI.

Accusing the Congress of lacking positive agendas, Sitharaman stated, “Because they have no issue on their own in order to say ‘this is what we will do for the people of India, take India forward, bring opportunities for the youth, take India in a global leadership role’, they have none of these positive agendas to speak about.”

Sitharaman’s remarks came amid a controversy stirred by Sam Pitroda, Chairman of the Indian Overseas Congress, who spoke about the concept of inheritance tax while emphasizing the need for wealth redistribution policies. However, the Congress party distanced itself from Pitroda’s remarks, stating that inheritance tax laws do not reflect the party’s position.

As the election season progresses, the debate over inheritance tax and its potential consequences on India’s economic landscape continues to escalate. The Finance Minister’s warnings highlight the significance of thoughtful policymaking and the potential risks of implementing taxation measures that could impede the nation’s progress.

Sitharaman’s stance underscores the importance of preserving India’s economic momentum and fostering an environment conducive to growth, while also addressing the concerns of the middle and aspirational classes who are crucial drivers of the economy.

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

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