The central government is set to present its final budget for this term in February 2023, ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. Recommendations from experts and requests from state governments as well as industry bodies have started trickling in. Media reports suggest that experts are recommending a wider tax base, as well as removal of cess and surgcharge for the next budget.
A thinktank called Think Change Forum (TCF) has said in a statement that the government doesn't need to higher tax collection to invest in development, and has also pushed for enhancing compliance via use of tech. The body discussed the need for boosting tax collection from tier 2 cities, and former CBIC chairman highlighted how tax evaders are a step ahead thanks to innovation.
Smuggling and tax evasion has also been on the rise in case of tobacco and alcoholic benerages, which are heavily taxed. Former media advisor to Manmohan Singh, Sanjay Baru also highlighted how a very small number of people in India pay taxes, making a strong case for ensuring higher compliance through a wider tax net.
Between FY14 and FY21, the proportion of cess in overall tax revenue for India went up from 7.3 per cent to 18.2 per cent.
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